Polyamines are excellent stabilizers of triplex DNA. Recent studies in our laboratory revealed a remarkable structural specificity of polyamines in the induction and stabilization of triplex DNA. 1,3-Diaminopropane (DAP) showed optimum efficacy amongst a series of synthetic diamines in stabilizing triplex DNA. To utilize the potential of this finding in developing an anti-gene strategy for breast cancer, we treated MCF-7 cells with a 37mer oligonucleotide to form triplex DNA in the up-stream regulatory region of the c-myc oncogene in the presence of DAP. As individual agents, the oligonucleotide and DAP did not downregulate c-myc mRNA in the presence of estradiol. Complexation of the oligonucleotide with 2 mM DAP reduced c-myc mRNA signal by 65% at 10 μM oligonucleotide concentration. In contrast, a control oligonucleotide had no significant effect on c-myc mRNA. The expression ofc-fos oncogene was not significantly altered by the triplex forming oligonucleotide (TFO). DAP was internalized within 1 h of treatment; however, it had no significant effect on the level of natural polyamines. These data indicate that selective utilization of synthetic polyamines and TFOs might be an important strategy to develop anti-gene-based therapeutic modalities for breast cancer.
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