MYCN silencing induces differentiation and apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells

Jung Hee Kang, Piotr G. Rychahou, Titilope A. Ishola, Jingbo Qiao, B. Mark Evers, Dai H. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


MYCN amplification strongly correlates with unfavorable outcomes in patients with neuroblastoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of MYCN in neuroblastoma cell differentiation and apoptosis. We used the technique of RNA interference to inhibit MYCN gene expression in neuroblastoma cells with variable expression of MYCN. Our results showed that inhibition of MYCN gene expression in MYCN amplified cells induced apoptosis and suppressed cell growth; neuronal differentiation also occurred after MYCN gene silencing. Moreover, N-myc downregulation was associated with decreased Bcl-xL protein levels and caspase-3 activation. These data show that small interfering RNA directed to MYCN, which plays a crucial role in neuroblastoma cell survival, may provide a potential novel therapeutic option for aggressive neuroblastomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-197
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 8 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Dr. Sunghoon Kim for thoughtful comments, Huiping Guo for quantitative RT-PCR assistance, and Karen Martin for manuscript preparation. This work was supported by Grants RO1 DK61470, RO1 DK48498, RO1 CA104748, and PO1 DK35608 from the National Institutes of Health.


  • Apoptosis
  • Differentiation
  • MYCN/N-myc
  • Neuroblastoma
  • RNAi/siRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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