The role of c-myc in cellular growth control

Oncogene. 1999 May 13;18(19):2988-96. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202751.


Cell division is coupled to cell growth. Since some c-myc target genes are regulators of cell growth while others function in cell division pathways, c-myc is apparently poised at the interface of these processes. Cell culture systems have shown specific myc-associated growth phenotypes. Increased cell growth precedes DNA synthesis after myc activation in cells expressing myc-estrogen receptor fuson constructs and cells lacking c-myc exhibit a marked loss of protein synthesis. A number of candidate c-myc target genes regulate processes required for cell growth including rRNA transcription and processing, ribosomal protein transcription and translation, and translation initiation. These interactions all have the potential to account for the growth phenotypes in c-myc mutant cells. The ability of translation initiation factors, including eIF4E, to transform cells makes them particularly interesting targets of c-myc. Further evaluation of these target genes will provide important insights into growth control and c-myc's functions in cellular proliferation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / physiology*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc