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Cancer Res. 2009 Dec 1;69(23):8839-43. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1970. Epub 2009 Nov 24.

The role of Myc-induced protein synthesis in cancer.

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  • 1School of Medicine and Department of Urology, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94158, USA.


Deregulation in different steps of translational control is an emerging mechanism for cancer formation. One example of an oncogene with a direct role in control of translation is the Myc transcription factor. Myc directly increases protein synthesis rates by controlling the expression of multiple components of the protein synthetic machinery, including ribosomal proteins and initiation factors of translation, Pol III and rDNA. However, the contribution of Myc-dependent increases in protein synthesis toward the multistep process leading to cancer has remained unknown. Recent evidence strongly suggests that Myc oncogenic signaling may monopolize the translational machinery to elicit cooperative effects on cell growth, cell cycle progression, and genome instability as a mechanism for cancer initiation. Moreover, new genetic tools to restore aberrant increases in protein synthesis control are now available, which should enable the dissection of important mechanisms in cancer that rely on the translational machinery.

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