Targeting RNA polymerase i to treat MYC-driven cancer

Gretchen Poortinga, Leonie M Quinn, Ross Duncan Hannan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The MYC oncoprotein and transcription factor is dysregulated in a majority of human cancers and is considered a major driver of the malignant phenotype. As such, developing drugs for effective inhibition of MYC in a manner selective to malignancies is a 'holy grail' of transcription factor-based cancer therapy. Recent advances in elucidating MYC biology in both normal cells and pathological settings were anticipated to bring inhibition of tumorigenic MYC function closer to the clinic. However, while the extensive array of cellular pathways that MYC impacts present numerous fulcrum points on which to leverage MYC's therapeutic potential, identifying the critical target(s) for MYC-specific cancer therapy has been difficult to achieve. Somewhat unexpectedly, MYC's fundamental role in regulating the 'housekeeping' process of ribosome biogenesis, one of the most ubiquitously required and conserved cell functions, may provide the Achilles' heel for therapeutically targeting MYC-driven tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-412
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2015

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