Dr. McMahon Steven B. McMahon, PhD

Contact Dr. McMahon

233 South 10th Street
Suite 609
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-9064

Research and Clinical Interests
Our group has a long-standing interest in understanding the biochemical events that are deregulated to cause alterations in broad transcriptional programs in human cancer.   As such, our research focuses on the two most commonly mutated transcription factors, MYC and p53, that are critical to cancer progression. We are currently focused on defining precisely how MYC and p53 are regulated in cancer cells, how the transcription programs they control are altered in cancer, and ultimately what essential cellular processes are impacted by these changes.  Collectively, these studies have identified previously unknown nodes in these pathways that may represent potential therapeutic targets.

 Current Research Projects

  • understand the role of altered mitochondrial transcription in the ability of MYC to reprogram cellular metabolism during malignant transformation.
  •  identify the mechanism by which post-translational modifications control the ability of the p53 tumor suppressor to selectively activate distinct transcriptomes.
  • define the contribution of genetic lesions in subunits of the human SAGA coactivator complex to human cancer.

Hide Details


Most recent Peer-reviewed Publications

  1. Retraction Notice to: Nuclear receptor function requires a TFTC-type histone acetyl transferase complex
  2. USP22 regulates oncogenic signaling pathways to drive lethal cancer progression
  3. The epigenetic modifier ubiquitin-specific protease 22 (USP22) regulates embryonic stem cell differentiation via transcriptional repression of sex-determining region Y-box 2 (SOX2)
  4. P53: The TRiC Is Knowing When to Fold 'Em
  5. Acetylation of the cell-fate factor dachshund determines p53 binding and signaling modules in breast cancer
  6. Dachshund binds p53 to block the growth of lung adenocarcinoma cells
  7. A high-confidence interaction map identifies SIRT1 as a mediator of acetylation of USP22 and the SAGA coactivator complex
  8. Dynamic regulation of mitochondrial transcription as a mechanism of cellular adaptation
  9. MYST protein acetyltransferase activity requires active site lysine autoacetylation
  10. Inhibition of the single downstream target BAG1 activates the latent apoptotic potential of MYC
  11. Enzymatic assays for assessing histone deubiquitylation activity
  12. Phosphorylation of Tip60 by GSK-3 Determines the Induction of PUMA and Apoptosis by p53
  13. The Role of Epigenetic Modifications in Cancer
  14. Myc overexpression brings out unexpected antiapoptotic effects of miR-34a
  15. Regulation of microRNA-145 by growth arrest and differentiation
  16. Deacetylation of the DNA-binding domain regulates p53-mediated apoptosis
  17. Emerging concepts in the analysis of transcriptional targets of the MYC oncoprotein: Are the targets targetable?
  18. Nuclear cyclin D1/CDK4 kinase regulates CUL4 expression and triggers neoplastic growth via activation of the PRMT5 methyltransferase
  19. Rise of the rival
  20. Biochemical pathways that regulate acetyltransferase and deacetylase activity in mammalian cells

View All Publications