Structure-Function Analysis of the V-Myc Oncoprotein.
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The myc oncogene was first discovered as the transforming sequence present in the avian leukemia retrovirus MC29, which is found to be the cause of myelocytomatosis and other tumor types in infected birds Sheiness et al., 1979 Oraf Beug, 1978. The v-myc cellular homolog, c-myc, as well as other members of the myc gene family N-myc, L-myc, B-myc, S- myc are implicated in a wide variety of human cancers, for example lymphomas, neuroblastomas, and carcinomas. Chromosomal rearrangements, mutation, and amplification of the myc genes result in increased expression levels of the Myc oncoprotein and contribute to the development and progression of human malignancies Marcu et al., 1992. of particular interest is the relationship between c-myc amplification and human breast cancer. Bems et al. 1992 and Escot et al. 1986 have demonstrated that up to 2O-3O of breast cancers contain amplifications of the c-myc gene. Additionally, studies using anti sense oligonucleotides to inhibit the expression of the c-myc protein in an estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 result in growth arrest of these cells, implicating myc as a crucial element in breast cancer cell growth Watson et al., 1991. Taken together, these observations suggest that the Myc oncoprotein performs a pivotal role in a variety of human cancers.
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