The myc gene was initially discovered as a prototypical retrovirally transduced oncogene. Over the decades, abundant evidence has emerged to support a causal role for the activated cellular gene, c-myc, in animal and human tumors. The gene encodes an oncogenic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that acts as a heterodimer with its partner protein, Max, to activate genes regulating the cell cycle machinery as well as critical metabolic enzymes. The additional ability of c-Myc to repress transcription of differentiationrelated genes suggest that c-Myc is a central and key molecular integrator of cell proliferation, differentiation and metabolism.

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