What is Myb?
is an acronym derived from "myeloblastosis", an
old-fashioned name for a type of leukemia, a cancer of blood cells. Alterations in the Myb genes of
humans, rodents, and birds cause various types of cancer. The proteins encoded by these Myb genes are present in the
cell nucleus, bind directly to specific DNA sequences, and regulate cell
growth and differentiation. The hallmark of these proteins is a highly
conserved DNA-binding domain composed of tandem repeats of a helix-turn-helix
motif (light blue) that fit into the major groove of the DNA double helix (red
and yellow). Such Myb domains are present in a variety of proteins that
regulate chromosomes and chromatin. Our laboratory studies the
Myb gene family using the tools of genetics, biochemistry, and cell
[For a longer answer to this
solution structure of the second and third repeats of the murine c-Myb DNA
binding domain complexed to DNA was solved by NMR. The two Myb repeats form
variant helix-turn-helix structures which lie head-to-tail within the major
groove of the DNA double helix. The atomic coordinates were kindly provided by Drs.
Ogata, Ishii, and Nomura and are available from PDB.
This image was rendered with RASMOL,
a free structure viewing program.
[Ogata, Morikawa, Nakamura, Sekikawa, Ioue, Kanai, Sarai, Ishii and
Nishimura, Cell 79: 639-48 (1994).]