Myc is an oncoprotein transcription factor that plays a prominent role in cancer. Like many transcription factors, Myc is an unstable protein that is destroyed by ubiquitin (Ub)-mediated proteolysis. Here, we report that the oncoprotein and Ub ligase Skp2 regulates Myc ubiquitylation and stability. Because of the growing number of Ub ligases that function as transcriptional coactivators, we speculated that Skp2 might also regulate Myc's transcriptional activity. Consistent with this model, we also show that Skp2 is a transcriptional coactivator for Myc, recognizing an essential element within the Myc activation domain and activating Myc target genes. These data suggest that Skp2 functions to connect Myc activity and destruction, and reveal an unexpected oncoprotein connection that may play an important role in controlling cell growth in normal and cancer cells.
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