Protein phosphatase 2A regulatory subunit B56α associates with c-Myc and negatively regulates c-Myc accumulation

Hugh K. Arnold, Rosalie C. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

200 Scopus citations


Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) plays a prominent role in controlling accumulation of the proto-oncoprotein c-Myc. PP2A mediates its effects on c-Myc by dephosphorylating a conserved residue that normally stabilizes c-Myc, and in this way, PP2A enhances c-Myc ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Stringent regulation of c-Myc levels is essential for normal cell function, as c-Myc overexpression can lead to cell transformation. Conversely, PP2A has tumor suppressor activity. Uncovering relevant PP2A holoenzymes for a particular target has been limited by the fact that cellular PP2A represents a large heterogeneous, population of trimeric holoenzymes, composed of a conserved catalytic subunit and a structural subunit along with a variable regulatory subunit which directs the holoenzyme to a specific target. We now report the identification of a specific PP2A regulatory subunit, B56α, that selectively associates with the N terminus of c-Myc. B56α directs intact PP2A holoenzymes to c-Myc, resulting in a dramatic reduction in c-Myc levels. Inhibition of PPA-B56α holoenzymes, using small hairpin RNA to knock down B56α, results in c-Myc overexpression, elevated levels of c-Myc serine 62 phosphorylation, and increased c-Myc function. These results uncover a new protein involved in regulating c-Myc expression and reveal a critical interconnection between a potent oncoprotein, c-Myc, and a well-documented tumor suppressor, PP2A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2832-2844
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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