Dissection of c-myc domains involved in S phase induction of NIH3T3 fibroblasts

Oncogene. 1994 Jun;9(6):1537-44.


The product of the c-myc proto-oncogene is an important regulator of cell proliferation and apoptosis in murine fibroblasts. Addition of the tumor promoter, phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), prevents apoptotic cell death induced by low serum concentrations in NIH3T3 cells that constitutively express and are transformed by v-myc. The protective effect of PMA allowed us to analyse the ability of normal c-Myc and Myc deletion mutants to induce serum starved, untransformed NIH3T3 cells to enter S phase. By microinjecting these quiescent cells with wild type and mutant human c-myc plasmids, we showed that full length c-myc is able to induce S phase entry in presence of PMA, but that c-Myc mutants that delete amino acids delta 7/91, delta 41/53, delta 56/103, delta 106/143, delta 265/317 and delta 414/433 are totally inactive. c-Myc did not shorten the period before entry into S phase, since Myc overexpressing cells entered S phase with the same kinetics as control cells when both were stimulated with 20% fetal calf serum (FCS). However, c-Myc overexpression did increase the percentage of cells entering S phase when these cells were stimulated with 2% fetal calf serum. Interestingly, this ability to enhance stimulation by a suboptimal concentration of FCS was retained to a significant degree by Myc mutants that delete amino acids delta 41/53, delta 56/103 or delta 265/317. Finally, Myc mutants that delete delta 106/143 or delta 414/433 exerted a dominant negative effect on S phase entry both in quiescent cells stimulated with 2% FCS and in unsynchronized, cycling cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Genes, myc*
  • Mice
  • Microinjections
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • S Phase*
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology


  • MAS1 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Mas
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate