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      The MYCN Protein in Health and Disease

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          Abstract

          MYCN is a member of the MYC family of proto-oncogenes. It encodes a transcription factor, MYCN, involved in the control of fundamental processes during embryonal development. The MYCN protein is situated downstream of several signaling pathways promoting cell growth, proliferation and metabolism of progenitor cells in different developing organs and tissues. Conversely, deregulated MYCN signaling supports the development of several different tumors, mainly with a childhood onset, including neuroblastoma, medulloblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and Wilms’ tumor, but it is also associated with some cancers occurring during adulthood such as prostate and lung cancer. In neuroblastoma, MYCN-amplification is the most consistent genetic aberration associated with poor prognosis and treatment failure. Targeting MYCN has been proposed as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of these tumors and great efforts have allowed the development of direct and indirect MYCN inhibitors with potential clinical use.

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          Most cited references186

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          Reflecting on 25 years with MYC.

          Just over 25 years ago, MYC, the human homologue of a retroviral oncogene, was identified. Since that time, MYC research has been intense and the advances impressive. On reflection, it is astonishing how each incremental insight into MYC regulation and function has also had an impact on numerous biological disciplines, including our understanding of molecular oncogenesis in general. Here we chronicle the major advances in our understanding of MYC biology, and peer into the future of MYC research.
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            Myc's broad reach.

            The role of the myc gene family in the biology of normal and cancer cells has been intensively studied since the early 1980s. myc genes, responding to diverse external and internal signals, express transcription factors (c-, N-, and L-Myc) that heterodimerize with Max, bind DNA, and modulate expression of a specific set of target genes. Over the last few years, expression profiling, genomic binding studies, and genetic analyses in mammals and Drosophila have led to an expanded view of Myc function. This review is focused on two major aspects of Myc: the nature of the genes and pathways that are targeted by Myc, and the role of Myc in stem cell and cancer biology.
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              The Myc/Max/Mad network and the transcriptional control of cell behavior.

              The Myc/Max/Mad network comprises a group of transcription factors whose distinct interactions result in gene-specific transcriptional activation or repression. A great deal of research indicates that the functions of the network play roles in cell proliferation, differentiation, and death. In this review we focus on the Myc and Mad protein families and attempt to relate their biological functions to their transcriptional activities and gene targets. Both Myc and Mad, as well as the more recently described Mnt and Mga proteins, form heterodimers with Max, permitting binding to specific DNA sequences. These DNA-bound heterodimers recruit coactivator or corepressor complexes that generate alterations in chromatin structure, which in turn modulate transcription. Initial identification of target genes suggests that the network regulates genes involved in the cell cycle, growth, life span, and morphology. Because Myc and Mad proteins are expressed in response to diverse signaling pathways, the network can be viewed as a functional module which acts to convert environmental signals into specific gene-regulatory programs.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                Genes (Basel)
                Genes (Basel)
                genes
                Genes
                MDPI
                2073-4425
                30 March 2017
                April 2017
                : 8
                : 4
                Affiliations
                Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC), Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden; aine.henley@ 123456ki.se (A.B.H.); marie.arsenian.henriksson@ 123456ki.se (M.A.H.)
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: maria.ruiz.perez@ 123456ki.se ; Tel.: +46-008-5248-6738
                Article
                genes-08-00113
                10.3390/genes8040113
                5406860
                28358317
                7443af01-c43e-4ff6-935b-97ab1f182b6d
                © 2017 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                Categories
                Review

                mycn,embryonal development,childhood tumors,neuroblastoma,targeted therapy

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