The MYCN oncogene encodes a transcription factor which is amplified in up to 40% of high risk neuroblastomas. MYCN amplification is a well-established poor prognostic marker in neuroblastoma, however the role of MYCN expression and the mechanisms by which it acts to promote an aggressive phenotype remain largely unknown. This review discusses the current evidence identifying the direct and indirect downstream transcriptional targets of MYCN from recent studies, with particular reference to how MYCN affects the cell cycle, DNA damage response, differentiation and apoptosis in neuroblastoma.
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