MYC: connecting selective transcriptional control to global RNA production

Nat Rev Cancer. 2015 Oct;15(10):593-607. doi: 10.1038/nrc3984. Epub 2015 Sep 18.


Two opposing models have been proposed to describe the function of the MYC oncoprotein in shaping cellular transcriptomes: one posits that MYC amplifies transcription at all active loci; the other that MYC differentially controls discrete sets of genes, the products of which affect global transcript levels. Here, we argue that differential gene regulation by MYC is the sole unifying model that is consistent with all available data. Among other effects, MYC endows cells with physiological and metabolic changes that have the potential to feed back on global RNA production, processing and turnover. The field is progressing steadily towards a full characterization of the MYC-regulated genes and pathways that mediate these biological effects and - by the same token - endow MYC with its pervasive oncogenic potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • RNA, Messenger