The protooncogene MYC plays an important role in the regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis and has been implicated in a variety of human tumors. MYC and the closely related MYCN encode highly conserved nuclear phosphoproteins (Myc and NMyc) that apparently function as transcription factors in the cell. We have identified a large and highly conserved nuclear protein that interacts directly with the transcriptional activating domain of Myc (designated 'protein associated with Myc' or Pam). Pam contains an extended amino acid sequence with similarities to a protein known as regulator of chromosome condensation (RCC1), which may play a role in the function of chromatin. The gene encoding Pam (PAM) is expressed in all of the human tissue examined, but expression is exceptionally abundant in brain and thymus. Pam binds specifically to Myc, but not NMyc. The region in Myc required for binding to Pam includes a domain that is essential for the function of Myc and that is frequently mutated in Burkitt's lymphomas. PAM is located within a 300-kb region on chromosome 13q22.
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