A peptide nucleic acid (PNA) complementary to a unique DNA sequence in the second exon of the human myc proto-oncogene was tested for its effects on transcription in colonic adenocarcinoma cells in which myc had been amplified and rearranged. A prominent rearrangement in this human cell line (COLO320-DM) involves the insertion of exon 1 of the PVT gene, which is normally located 57 kb downstream, into the first myc intron. We compared the effects of PNA invasion of the resulting chimeric gene (DMMYC) on sense and antisense transcription of its myc and PVT domains. Run-on transcription experiments showed that PNA binding to the unique myc sequence was highly specific and strongly inhibited sense transcription of four unique myc sequences downstream of the PNA.DNA hybridization site, the extent of inhibition at each sequence depending on the duration of exposure to PNA, and the distance between the downstream myc sequence and the PNA block. The same PNA also inhibited antisense transcription of unique myc sequences upstream of the binding site, confirming that transit of the RNA polymerase II complexes was impaired in both directions. The inhibitory effect of PNA on upstream antisense transcription extended beyond the recombination site into the contiguous PVT domain of the chimeric DMMYC gene. In contrast, the same PNA did not inhibit PVT transcription in a cell line (Raji lymphoma) in which PVT rearrangement did not involve the myc locus.