Effects in live cells of a c-myc anti-gene PNA linked to a nuclear localization signal

Giovanna Cutrona, Elisabetta M. Carpaneto, Massimo Ulivi, Silvio Roncella, Olfert Landt, Manlio Ferrarini, Lidia C. Boffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Peptide nucleic acids (PNA) are synthetic homologs of nucleic acids in which the phosphate-sugar polynucleotide backbone is replaced by a flexible polyamide. In this study, a PNA construct was employed as an anti-gene agent in intact cells in culture. The cell lines studied were derived from Burkitt's lymphomas (BL) that presented a translocated and hyperexpressed c- myc oncogene. A 17-mer anti-myc PNA, complementary to a unique sequence located at the beginning of the second exon of the oncogene, and was covalently linked at its N terminus to a nuclear localization signal (NLS) (PNA-myc(wt)-NLS). When BL cells were exposed to PNA-myc(wt)-NLS, the anti- gene construct was localized predominantly in the cell nuclei and a rapid consequent downregulation of c-myc expression occurred. Under these conditions, both completion of a productive cell cycle and apoptosis were inhibited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalNature Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Anti-gene
  • C-myc
  • Lymphomas
  • Nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptide
  • Peptide nucleic acid (PNA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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