Role of Oncogenic Transcription Factor c-Myc in Cell Cycle Regulation, Apoptosis and Metabolism

J Biomed Sci. Nov-Dec 1997;4(6):269-278. doi: 10.1007/BF02258350.


The myc gene was initially discovered as a prototypical retrovirally transduced oncogene. Over the decades, abundant evidence has emerged to support a causal role for the activated cellular gene, c-myc, in animal and human tumors. The gene encodes an oncogenic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that acts as a heterodimer with its partner protein, Max, to activate genes regulating the cell cycle machinery as well as critical metabolic enzymes. The additional ability of c-Myc to repress transcription of differentiation-related genes suggest that c-Myc is a central and key molecular integrator of cell proliferation, differentiation and metabolism.