Identification of c-MYC as a target of the APC pathway

He TC, Sparks AB, Rago C, Hermeking H, Zawel L, da Costa LT, Morin PJ, Vogelstein B, Kinzler KW

Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, 424 North Bond Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA.

Science 1998 281(5382):1509-12

The adenomatous polyposis coli gene (APC) is a tumor suppressor gene that is inactivated in most colorectal cancers. Mutations of APC cause aberrant accumulation of beta-catenin, which then binds T cell factor-4 (Tcf-4), causing increased transcriptional activation of unknown genes. Here, the c-MYC oncogene is identified as a target gene in this signaling pathway. Expression of c-MYC was shown to be repressed by wild-type APC and activated by beta-catenin, and these effects were mediated through Tcf-4 binding sites in the c-MYC promoter. These results provide a molecular framework for understanding the previously enigmatic overexpression of c-MYC in colorectal cancers.

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