The c-myc protooncogene product (c-Myc) is a transcription factor and is rapidly induced in resting cells following various mitogenic stimuli. c-Myc is thus suggested to play an important role in the transition from quiescence to proliferation. Despite numerous studies, including those on the connection between cyclin E/cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and c-Myc, little has been clarified about c-Myc in terms of the cell cycle regulation. Here we show that c-Myc can directly bind to the carboxyl-terminal region of the cyclin- dependent kinase inhibitor p21(cip1/waf1/sdi1) and thus partially relieves the p21 of the inhibitory effect on DNA synthesis directed by the proliferating cell nuclear antigen-dependent DNA polymerase δ. As for transcription, on the other hand, the p21 binding to the Myc box II region of c-Myc blocks c-Myc-Max complex formation on the E-box and thereby suppresses the transcriptional activation from the E-box by c-Myc. These results suggest that c-Myc activates DNA replication via inactivation of p21 and that p21, vice versa, represses the transcriptional activity of c-Myc. The balance of the reciprocal inactivation between c-Myc and p21 may determine the course of cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology