B cell lymphomas mainly arise from different developmental stages of B cells in germinal centers of secondary lymphoid tissue. There are a number of signaling pathways that affect the initiation and development of B cell lymphomagenesis. The functions of several key proteins that represent branching points of signaling networks are changed because of their aberrant expression, degradation, and/or accumulation, and those events determine the fate of the affected B cells. One of the most influential transcription factors, commonly associated with unfavorable prognosis for patients with B cell lymphoma, is nuclear phosphoprotein MYC. During B cell lymphomagenesis, oncogenic MYC variant is deregulated through various mechanisms, such as gene translocation, gene amplification, and epigenetic deregulation of its expression. Owing to alterations of downstream signaling cascades, MYC-overexpressing neoplastic B cells proliferate rapidly, avoid apoptosis, and become unresponsive to most conventional treatments. This review will summarize the roles of MYC in B cell development and oncogenesis, as well as its significance for current B cell lymphoma classification. We compared communication networks within transformed B cells in different lymphomas affected by overexpressed MYC and conducted a meta-analysis concerning the association of MYC with tumor prognosis in different patient populations.
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