Function of the c-Myc Oncogenic Transcription Factor

Exp Cell Res. 1999 Nov 25;253(1):63-77. doi: 10.1006/excr.1999.4686.

Abstract

The c-myc gene and the expression of the c-Myc protein are frequently altered in human cancers. The c-myc gene encodes the transcription factor c-Myc, which heterodimerizes with a partner protein, termed Max, to regulate gene expression. Max also heterodimerizes with the Mad family of proteins to repress transcription, antagonize c-Myc, and promote cellular differentiation. The constitutive activation of c-myc expression is key to the genesis of many cancers, and hence the understanding of c-Myc function depends on our understanding of its target genes. In this review, we attempt to place the putative target genes of c-Myc in the context of c-Myc-mediated phenotypes. From this perspective, c-Myc emerges as an oncogenic transcription factor that integrates the cell cycle machinery with cell adhesion, cellular metabolism, and the apoptotic pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*

Substances

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • MAX protein, human
  • Myc associated factor X
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Transcription Factors