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  • Jonathan B Weitzman
Genome Biology20012:spotlight-20010322-01

Published: 22 March 2001


NeuroblastomaNeuroblastoma CellNeuroblastoma Cell LineRibosome AssemblyProtein Synthesis Machinery

Members of the myconcogene family are often amplified or mutated in human tumours. In the March 15 EMBO Journal, Boon et al. described the use of a neuroblastoma cell line with an inducible N-myc allele to identify genes regulated by N-myc (EMBO Journal 2001, 20:1383-1393). They performed serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to detect over a hundred genes up-regulated upon N-myc expression. The target genes included over 50 encoding ribosomal proteins, as well as key genes in rRNA maturation and ribosome assembly. Boon et al. also found a 45% higher rRNA content in cells expressing N-myc. Many of the identified N-myc target genes are also up-regulated in neuroblastomas with N-myc amplifications, and about 40% are also upregulated by the related c-myc transcription factor. Induction of the protein synthesis machinery by myc oncogenes may explain their role in regulating cell size.


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© BioMed Central Ltd 2001