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Cancer Cell. 2005 Sep;8(3):177-8.

The great MYC escape in tumorigenesis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Increased wild-type MYC expression occurs frequently in human cancers, except in Burkitt's lymphoma, where the translocated MYC allele is frequently mutated at several hotspots, including a major one at threonine-58. Acute MYC expression increases p53 or ARF levels and induces apoptosis, and previous transgenic animal studies revealed frequent inactivating mutations of p53 or p19ARF in transgenic Myc-induced lymphomas. Lowe and coworkers (Hemann et al., 2005) demonstrate that wild-type MYC can also trigger apoptosis by inducing Bim, which neutralizes Bcl-2. In contrast, the MYC point mutants failed to induce Bim, promoting murine lymphomas that escaped both wild-type p53 and p19ARF, and in doing so, evaded apoptosis.

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