The myc family of oncogenes is well conserved throughout evolution. Here we present the characterization of a domain conserved in c-, N-, and L-Myc from fish to humans, N-Myc317-337, designated Myc box IV (MBIV). A deletion of this domain leads to a defect in Myc-induced apoptosis and in some transformation assays but not in cell proliferation. Unlike other Myc mutants, MycMBIV is not a simple loss-of-function mutant because it is hyperactive for G2 arrest in primary cells. Microarray analysis of genes regulated by N-MycMBIV reveals that it is weakened for transactivation and repression but not nearly as defective as N-MycMBII. Although the mutated region is not part of the previously defined DNA binding domain, we find that N-MycMBIV has a significantly lower affinity for DNA than the wild-type protein in vitro. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation shows reduced binding of N-MycMBIV to some target genes in vivo, which correlates with the defect in transactivation. Thus, this conserved domain has an unexpected role in Myc DNA binding activity. These data also provide a novel separation of Myc functions linked to the modulation of DNA binding activity.
Cowling, V. H., Chandriani, S., Whitfield, M. L., & Cole, M. D. (2006). A conserved Myc protein domain, MBIV, regulates DNA binding, apoptosis, transformation, and G2 arrest. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 26(11), 4226-4239. https://doi.org/10.1128/MCB.01959-05