Addiction of MYCN amplified tumours to B-MYB underscores a reciprocal regulatory loop
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Received: May 19, 2010, Accepted: July 16, 2010, Published: August 4, 2010MYCN is a member of the MYC family of oncoproteins frequently amplified or overexpressed in aggressive, paediatric tumours of the nervous system. In this study we have identified the gene B-MYB, encoding the transcription factor also known as MYBL2, as a downstream target of MYCN. Using multiple in silico databases we show that expression of B-MYB significantly correlates with that of MYCN in neuroblastoma patients. MYCN binds to and activates the B-MYB gene in vivo and in vitro. Blunting B-MYB expression by RNA interference causes reduced proliferation of MYCN amplified, but not MYCN-non amplified, neuroblastoma cell lines, indicating that tumour cells are addicted to B-MYB in a MYCN dependent manner. Notably, B-MYB binds in vivo to the MYCN amplicon and is required for its expression. We conclude that MYCN and B-MYB are engaged in a reciprocal regulatory loop whose pharmacological targeting could be beneficial to patients with the aggressive forms of cancer in which MYCN is amplified.
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