B-Myb, a repressed trans-activating protein


  • S. Ansieau
  • E. Kowenz-Leutz
  • R. Dechend
  • A. Leutz


  • Journal of Molecular Medicine


  • J Mol Med 75 (11-12): 815-819


  • B-Myb belongs to a family of related transcription factors which share a unique DNA binding domain. B-Myb plays an important role in regulation of the cell cycle. Its expression is upregulated by the human papilloma virus HPV16 E7 oncoprotein. Overexpression of B-Myb can bypass p53-mediated cell cycle arrest. The founding member of the myb gene family, c-Myb, and A-Myb are involved in hematopoiesis and neurogenesis, respectively, and are both activators of gene transcription. Whether B-Myb is a transactivator or a repressor, however, has remained a matter of discussion. We reviewed the transactivation potential of B-Myb in yeast, taking advantage of the fact that inducible gene activation is an evolutionarily conserved process. By mutational analysis we localized a conserved activation domain in B-Myb. In vertebrate cells the transactivation potential of B-Myb is concealed by the C-terminal part of the protein. We show that the cell cycle regulators cyclin A and cyclin E activate B-Myb by eradicating the inhibition mediated by its carboxy-terminus. Our data suggest that in vertebrates the trans-activating function of B-Myb is regulated during the cell cycle and link Myb functions to cell cycle progression.