Abnormal Expression of c-Myc Oncogene in NK Cells in Patients with Cancer

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Gulnur K ZakiryanovaMichael R Shurin


Natural killer (NK) cells have received a lot of attention in recent years for the roles they play in immunity and particularly in antitumor immune responses. Although defects in NK cell functions are recognized as important mechanisms for immune evasion of malignant cells, molecular pathways regulating NK cell dysfunction and exhaustion in cancer are largely unknown. Here we tested whether the c-myc proto-oncogene, known to promote cell proliferation, growth, differentiation, and apoptosis by regulating the expression of numerous target genes, may be involved in the mechanism of NK cell abnormalities in patients with lung and gastric cancer. Analysis of c-myc mRNA and protein expression in peripheral blood NK cells, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity, cell cycle, and cell longevity revealed a significantly decreased expression of c-myc mRNA and protein and mitotic arrest of NK cells in different phases of cell cycle. In addition, a significant decrease of NK cell death was also detected. These data allow the suggestion that defects of NK cell-mediated tumor surveillance may be associated with disturbed c-myc expression in NK cells in cancer patients. A better understanding of the mechanisms of NK cell dysfunction...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

genetic modification
density gradient centrifugation
flow cytometry

Related Concepts

Cell Cycle
Natural Killer Cells
Malignant Neoplasms
Poly(A) Tail
Signal Transduction
Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
v-myc Oncogenes
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
Cell Differentiation Process

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