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Oncogene. 2003 Jan 23;22(3):351-60.

Myc represses differentiation-induced p21CIP1 expression via Miz-1-dependent interaction with the p21 core promoter.

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Upsala Genetic Center, Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.


Inhibition of cellular differentiation is one of the well-known biological activities of c-Myc-family proteins. We show here that Myc represses differentiation-induced expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21CIP1 (CDKN1A, p21), known to play an important role in cell fate decisions during growth and differentiation, in hematopoietic cells. Our results demonstrate that the c-Myc-responsive region is situated in the p21 core promoter. c-Myc binds to this region in vitro and in vivo through interaction with the initiator-binding Zn-finger transcription factor Miz-1, which associates directly with the promoter. Association of Myc with the promoter in vivo correlates inversely with p21 expression. Using mutants of c-Myc with impaired binding to Miz-1, our results further show that repression of p21 promoter/reporters as well as the endogenous p21 gene by Myc depends on interaction with Miz-1. Expression of Miz-1 increases during hematopoietic differentiation and Miz-1 activates the p21 promoter under conditions of low Myc levels, indicating a positive role for free Miz-1 in this process. In conclusion, repression of differentiation-induced p21 expression through Miz-1 may be an important mechanism by which Myc blocks differentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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