MYC is one of the most well known oncogenes, and its expression can be upregulated in tumors by a variety of different mechanisms. Despite the discovery of an ever increasing number of target genes bound by Myc, the identification of core sets of Myc targets that correspond to specific cellular outcomes has proved elusive, and it is unknown how Myc elicits its plethora of diverse downstream effects. Now, two recent papers by Lin et al.1 and Nie et al.2 may provide new foundations for understanding the mysteries of Myc. These studies indicate that instead of acting as a simple ‘on-off’ switch for target genes, Myc acts as a transcriptional amplifier, increasing the transcriptional output of genes that are already switched on in tumor cells, lymphocytes and stem cells. We asked the experts to comment on what these new findings contribute to our view of Myc in cancer and in normal development and physiology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)