Translocations or amplifications which activate members of the myc gene family are common in human cancer. c-Myc is a central regulator of normal cell proliferation and differentiation (Luscher and Eisenman, 1991; Marcu et al. 1992) and can induce apoptosis (Askew et al. 1991, 1993; Evan et al. 1992; Bissonette et al. 1992; Shi et al. 1992). c-Myc is a transcription factor (Amati et al. 1992; Kretzner et al. 1992), however, the targets regulated by c-Myc which mediate its activities are not known. Here, we discuss the role of the ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene as a direct transcriptional target of c-Myc and demonstrate a role for ODC enzyme activity in c-Myc-induced apoptosis.