PerspectiveCell Biology

Myc-Nick: The Force Behind c-Myc

Science Signaling  14 Dec 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 152, pp. pe49
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3152pe49

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Abstract

In the field of molecular oncology, the Myc basic helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors has been extensively studied. The Myc proto-oncogene c-Myc binds DNA, activates or represses gene transcription, and consequently affects cellular proliferation. However, emerging evidence presents the existence of c-Myc variants that lack transcriptional activity. A cytoplasmic variant of c-Myc called “Myc-nick,” which arises from calpain-mediated cleavage of c-Myc, assists in stable microtubule assembly. Furthermore, Myc-nick promotes MyoD-mediated myogenic differentiation, thus antagonizing its precursor. These results provide exciting new opportunities in formulating molecular approaches for treatment of cancer and in our understanding of cell differentiation.

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