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Nature. 1992 Nov 12;360(6400):177-9.

Abrogation by c-myc of G1 phase arrest induced by RB protein but not by p53.

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Center for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78245.

Erratum in

  • Nature 1992 Dec 3;360(6403):491.


Inactivating mutations of the retinoblastoma gene (RB) are found in a wide variety of tumour cells. Replacement of wild-type RB can suppress the tumorigenicity of some of these cells, suggesting that the RB protein (Rb) may negatively regulate cell growth. As activation of c-myc expression promotes cell proliferation and blocks differentiation, it may positively regulate cell growth. The c-myc protein is localized in the nucleus and can physically associate with RB protein in vitro, hence c-myc may functionally antagonize RB function. Microinjection of Rb in G1 phase reversibly arrests cell-cycle progression. Here we co-inject RB protein with c-myc, EJ-ras, c-fos or c-jun protein. Co-injection of c-myc, but not EJ-ras, c-fos or c-jun, inhibits the ability of Rb to arrest the cell cycle. The c-myc does not inhibit the activity of another tumour supressor, p53 (ref. 12). Thus, c-myc and RB specifically antagonize one another in the cell.

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