Mediation of c-Myc-induced apoptosis by p53

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Science  30 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5181, pp. 2091-2093
DOI: 10.1126/science.8091232


The cellular proto-oncogene c-myc is involved in cell proliferation and transformation but is also implicated in the induction of programmed cell death (apoptosis). The same characteristics have been described for the tumor suppressor gene p53, the most commonly mutated gene in human cancer. In quiescent mouse fibroblasts expressing wild-type p53 protein, activation of c-Myc was found to induce apoptosis and cell cycle reentry, preceded by stabilization of p53. In contrast, in quiescent p53-null fibroblasts, activation of c-Myc induced cell cycle reentry but not apoptosis. These results suggest that p53 mediates apoptosis as a safeguard mechanism to prevent cell proliferation induced by oncogene activation.

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