Stable and unstable pools of Myc protein exist in human cells.

Tworkowski KA, Salghetti SE, Tansey WP
Oncogene. 2002 21 (55): 8515-20

PMID: 12466972 · DOI:10.1038/sj.onc.1205976

The oncoprotein transcription factor Myc plays a crucial role in the control of cell growth and proliferation. Consistent with its potent growth-promoting properties, cells have evolved a number of mechanisms to limit the activity and accumulation of the Myc protein. One of the most striking of these mechanisms is ubiquitin (Ub)-mediated proteolysis, which typically destroys Myc within minutes of its synthesis. Here we show that, despite the extreme instability of the Myc protein, cells contain a pool of Myc that is metabolically stable. Entry of Myc into the stable pool is signaled by an element within the carboxy-terminus of the protein, and is a cell-specific process that is regulated during mitosis and by interaction with Max. These data demonstrate that - even for a rapidly turned-over protein such as Myc - metabolically stable and unstable forms of a protein can co-exist in cells, and suggest that the rate of destruction of Myc molecules is linked to their specific functions.

MeSH Terms (10)

Cell Cycle Cell Division Cell Line HeLa Cells Humans Kinetics Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc Signal Transduction Transcription Factors Ubiquitin

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