Mice deficient of Myc super-enhancer region reveal differential control mechanism between normal and pathological growth

Elife. 2017 Jun 6;6:e23382. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23382.

Abstract

The gene desert upstream of the MYC oncogene on chromosome 8q24 contains susceptibility loci for several major forms of human cancer. The region shows high conservation between human and mouse and contains multiple MYC enhancers that are activated in tumor cells. However, the role of this region in normal development has not been addressed. Here we show that a 538 kb deletion of the entire MYC upstream super-enhancer region in mice results in 50% to 80% decrease in Myc expression in multiple tissues. The mice are viable and show no overt phenotype. However, they are resistant to tumorigenesis, and most normal cells isolated from them grow slowly in culture. These results reveal that only cells whose MYC activity is increased by serum or oncogenic driver mutations depend on the 8q24 super-enhancer region, and indicate that targeting the activity of this element is a promising strategy of cancer chemoprevention and therapy.

Keywords: cancer; cancer biology; enhancer; human; mouse; oncogene regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Gene Expression
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / biosynthesis*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics*
  • Sequence Deletion*

Substances

  • Myc protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc

Grant support

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.