Although long considered as a disease of failed apoptosis, it is now clear that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells undergo extensive cell division in vivo, especially in progressive disease. Signaling via the B-cell receptor is thought to activate proliferation and survival pathways in CLL cells and also has been linked to poor outcome. Here, we have analyzed the expression of the proto-oncoprotein MYC, an essential positive regulator of the cell cycle, after stimulation of surface IgM (sIgM). MYC expression was rapidly increased after sIgM stimulation in a subset of CLL samples. The ability of sIgM stimulation to increase MYC expression was correlated with sIgM-induced intracellular calcium fluxes. MYC induction was partially dependent on the MEK/ERK signaling pathway, and MYC and phosphorylated ERK1/2 were both expressed within proliferation centers in vivo. Although stimulation of sIgD also resulted in ERK1/2 phosphorylation, responses were relatively short lived compared with sIgM and were associated with significantly reduced MYC induction, suggesting that the kinetics of ERK1/2 activation is a critical determinant of MYC induction. Our results suggest that ERK1/2-dependent induction of MYC is likely to play an important role in antigen-induced CLL cell proliferation.