Reversible suppression of c-myc expression in a human colon carcinoma line by the anticancer agent N-methylformamide

Cancer Res. 1989 Jul 15;49(14):3910-6.


The anticancer agent N-methylformamide (NMF), which at high concentrations (170 mM) induces cultured DLD-1 Clone A human colon carcinoma cells to increase their doubling times and lose their tumorigenicity in nude mice (Cordeiro, R.F., and Savarese, T.M. Cancer Res., 46: 1297-1305, 1986), suppresses the expression of the c-myc protooncogene in these cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. This suppression involves an inhibition of c-myc transcription rather than an increased degradation of c-myc mRNA, and is reversed if NMF is removed from the culture medium. Expression of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase gene, which is thought to be constitutive, is phosphate dehydrogenase gene, which is thought to be constitutive, is relatively unaffected by NMF treatment. The NMF-mediated decrease in c-myc expression may be associated with the ability of this agent to increase the doubling time of these cells, but there is no direct temporal link between the loss of c-myc expression and the NMF-induced loss of tumorigenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Formamides / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Proto-Oncogenes / drug effects*
  • RNA, Messenger / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Suppression, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Formamides
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • RNA, Messenger
  • methylformamide