Transcriptional control of the MYC oncogene

One core regulator of growth and division of great interest to our research is the MYC oncogene, which is a potent activator of cell growth networks and upregulated in most human cancers. As therapeutically targeting MYC itself has proved unfeasible, we need to find new ways to indirectly target MYC in cancer. Most MYC-driven cancer is due to upregulation of expression, but the networks controlling MYC transcription in malignancy are largely unknown. The single stranded DNA binding proteins FBP and FIR are essential for transcriptional control of the MYC oncogene, and dysregulation of this network is linked with a wide variety of cancers, eg. kidney, breast, liver, lung, bladder, prostate, gastrointestinal and brain. This research aims to use a combination of in vivo genetic models (Drosophila and mouse) and human cancer models to unravel the mechanisms for regulation of MYC expression by FBP/FIR.