Oncogenes in Human Cancer
Are oncogenes inactive in cancer cells?
An important difference between oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes is that oncogenes result from the activation (turning on) of proto-oncogenes, but tumor suppressor genes cause cancer when they are inactivated (turned off).
Are oncogenes normally found in the body?
Everyone has proto-oncogenes in their body. In fact, proto-oncogenes are necessary for our survival. Proto-oncogenes only cause cancer when a mutation occurs in the gene that results in the gene being permanently turned on. This is called a gain-of-function mutation.
What are oncogenes capable of?
Studies of tumor viruses revealed that specific genes (called oncogenes) are capable of inducing cell transformation, thereby providing the first insights into the molecular basis of cancer.
What cancers are caused by oncogenes?
The MYC protein acts as a transcription factor and it controls the expression of several genes. Mutations in the MYC gene have been found in many different cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, B-cell leukemia, and lung cancer. The MYC family of oncogenes may become activated by gene rearrangement or amplification.
Do oncogenes protect against cancer?
Oncogenes, however, typically exhibit increased production of these proteins, thus leading to increased cell division, decreased cell differentiation, and inhibition of cell death; taken together, these phenotypes define cancer cells. Thus, oncogenes are currently a major molecular target for anti-cancer drug design.
Is cancer a disease or virus?
Cancer is a disease caused when cells divide uncontrollably and spread into surrounding tissues. Cancer is caused by changes to DNA. Most cancer-causing DNA changes occur in sections of DNA called genes. These changes are also called genetic changes.
What is a hallmark of cancer cells?
The hallmarks constitute an organizing principle for rationalizing the complexities of neoplastic disease. They include sustaining proliferative signaling, evading growth suppressors, resisting cell death, enabling replicative immortality, inducing angiogenesis, and activating invasion and metastasis.