Congratulations Dr. Gareiss on your new publication!

November 23, 2015

A new exciting work from the former YCMD scientist Jay Schneekloth was recently published in the ACS Chemical Biology Journal (PMID: 26462961). The study identifies a novel small molecule inhibitor of the transcription factor MYC. MYC plays a pivotal role in cancer initiation, progression, and maintenance. However, it has proven difficult to develop small molecule inhibitors of MYC.  YCMD employed small molecule microarray technology to screen for compounds that bind to oncogenic MYC G-Quadruplex and potentially target gene expression.   Compounds were identified that bind to this structured DNA target and affect gene expression.  As a measure of selectivity, gene expression analysis and qPCR experiments demonstrated that MYC and several MYC target genes were downregulated upon treatment with this compound, while the expression of several other G-quadruplex driven genes was not affected.  Follow-up studies with scientists at the NCI (Jay Schneekloth and colleagues) showed that this compound is able to inhibit MYC induced cellular toxicity. Congratulations to Kenneth Felsenstein and Jay Schneekloth (the first and corresponding authors of the study, respectively), Pete Gareiss (YCMD scientist who helped implement small molecule microarray technology), and all other authors who participated in this exciting study!