- Analogous to the c-Myc (Myc)/Max family of bHLH-ZIP transcription factors, there exists a parallel regulatory network of structurally and functionally related proteins with Myc-like functions. Two related Myc-like paralogs, termed MondoA and MondoB/carbohydrate response element–binding protein (ChREBP), up-regulate gene expression in heterodimeric association with the bHLH-ZIP Max-like factor Mlx. Myc is necessary to support liver cancer growth, but not for normal hepatocyte proliferation. Here, we investigated ChREBP's role in these processes and its relationship to Myc.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer that frequently overexpresses the c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein. Using a mouse model of Myc-induced HCC, we studied the metabolic, biochemical, and molecular changes accompanying HCC progression, regression, and recurrence. These involved altered rates of pyruvate and fatty acid β-oxidation and the likely re-directing of glutamine into biosynthetic rather than energy-generating pathways. Initial tumors also showed reduced mitochondrial mass and differential contributions of electron transport chain complexes I and II to respiration.