Function of the c-Myc oncoprotein

G. J. Kato, C. V. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The c-Myc protein, the product of the c-myc proto-oncogene, is a nuclear phosphoprotein with DNA binding properties. Deregulated c-myc expression participates in the development of experimentally induced tumors, and its expression appears to be abnormal in many naturally occurring malignancies. Although the precise molecular mechanism of c-Myc activity in oncogenesis and in normal cell proliferation is unknown, recent advances have uncovered a series of molecular and cellular properties of c-Myc. These properties include nuclear localization, transcriptional activation, oligomerization, nonspecific and specific DNA binding. Recently, the c-Myc protein was found to heterodimerize with Max, a protein that cooperates with c-Myc to bind specifically to a core DNA sequence, CAC(G/A)TG. These characteristics suggest that c-Myc participates in the regulation of gene transcription in normal and neoplastic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3065-3072
Number of pages8
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA binding
  • Max
  • helix-loop-helix
  • leucine zipper
  • nuclear localization signal
  • oncogenes
  • transcription factor
  • transcriptional activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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