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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Nov 9;96(23):13180-5.

c-Myc enhances protein synthesis and cell size during B lymphocyte development.

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  • 1Division of Basic Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.


Members of the myc family of nuclear protooncogenes play roles in cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Moreover, inappropriate expression of c-myc genes contributes to the development of many types of cancers, including B cell lymphomas in humans. Although Myc proteins have been shown to function as transcription factors, their immediate effects on the cell have not been well defined. Here we have utilized a murine model of lymphomagenesis (Emu-myc mice) to show that constitutive expression of a c-myc transgene under control of the Ig heavy-chain enhancer (Emu) results in an increase in cell size of normal pretransformed B lymphocytes at all stages of B cell development. Furthermore, we show that c-Myc-induced growth occurs independently of cell cycle phase and correlates with an increase in protein synthesis. These results suggest that Myc may normally function by coordinating expression of growth-related genes in response to mitogenic signals. Deregulated c-myc expression may predispose to cancer by enhancing cell growth to levels required for unrestrained cell division.

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