The many roles of c-Myc in apoptosis

Annu Rev Physiol. 1998;60:575-600. doi: 10.1146/annurev.physiol.60.1.575.


The proto-oncogene c-myc encodes a transcription factor c-Myc, which is of great importance in controlling cell growth and vitality. The quantity of c-Myc is carefully controlled by many mechanisms, and its actions to induce and repress genes are modulated by interactions with other regulatory proteins. Understanding the kinetic and quantitative relationships that determine how and what genes c-Myc regulates is essential to understanding how Myc is involved in apoptosis. Reduction of c-myc expression and its inappropriate expression can be associated with cellular apoptosis. This review outlines the nature and regulation of the c-myc gene and of c-Myc and presents the systems and conditions in which Myc-related apoptotic events occur. Hypotheses of the mechanisms by which expression and repression of c-myc lead to apoptosis are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Genes, myc / physiology
  • Humans
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / physiology*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc