Suppression of Ras/Mapk pathway signaling inhibits Myc-induced lymphomagenesis

Cell Death Differ. 2012 Jul;19(7):1220-7. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2012.1. Epub 2012 Feb 3.


Although the Myc transcription factor has been shown necessary for the oncogenic function of Ras, the contribution of Ras pathway signaling to the oncogenic function of Myc remains unresolved. We report the novel findings that Myc alone induced Ras/Mapk pathway signaling, and increased signaling following growth factor stimulation. Deletion of the scaffold protein kinase suppressor of Ras 1 (Ksr1) attenuated signaling through the Ras/Mapk pathway, including activation following Myc induction. B cells that lacked Ksr1 exhibited reduced proliferation and increased cytokine deprivation-induced apoptosis. Overexpression of Myc rescued the proliferation defect of Ksr1-null B cells, but loss of Ksr1 increased sensitivity of B cells to Myc-induced apoptosis. Notably, there was a significant delay in lymphoma development in Ksr1-null mice overexpressing Myc in B cells (Eμ-myc transgenic mice). There was an elevated frequency of p53 inactivation, indicative of increased selective pressure to bypass the p53 tumor suppressor pathway, in Ksr1-null Eμ-myc lymphomas. Therefore, loss of Ksr1 inhibits Ras/Mapk pathway signaling leading to increased Myc-induced B-cell apoptosis, and this results in reduced B-cell transformation and lymphoma development. Our data indicate that suppression of Myc-induced Ras/Mapk pathway signaling significantly impairs Myc oncogenic function. These results fill a significant gap in knowledge about Myc and should open new avenues of therapeutic intervention for Myc-overexpressing malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism*
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Protein Kinases / deficiency
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Protein Kinases
  • KSR-1 protein kinase
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases