Oncogenes

An oncogene is a protein-encoding gene which, when deregulated, participates in the onset and development of cancer. Genetic mutations resulting in the activation of oncogenes increase the chance that a normal cell will develop into a tumor cell. Oncogenes are figuratively thought to be in a perpetual tug-of-war with tumor suppressor genes which act to prevent DNA damage and keep the cell's activities under control. There is much evidence to support the notion that loss of tumor suppressors or gain of oncogenes can lead to cancer.

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Many cells normally undergo an apoptosis program. In the presence of an activated oncogene, disorderly survival and proliferation can be observed.[1] Most oncogenes require an additional step, such as mutations in another gene, or environmental factors, such as viral infection, to cause cancer. Since the 1970s, dozens of oncogenes have been identified in human cancer. Many new cancer drugs target those DNA sequences and their products.

A proto-oncogene is a normal gene that can become an oncogene due to mutations or increased expression. Proto-oncogenes code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation. Proto-oncogenes are often involved in signal transduction and execution of mitogenic signals, usually through their protein products. Upon activation, a proto-oncogene (or its product) becomes a tumor-inducing agent, an oncogene.[5] Examples of proto-oncogenes include RAS, WNT, MYC, ERK and TRK.

Proto-oncogene
A proto-oncogene is a normal gene that can become an oncogene due to mutations or increased expression. Proto-oncogenes code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation. Proto-oncogenes are often involved in signal transduction and execution of mitogenic signals, usually through their protein products. Upon activation, a proto-oncogene (or its product) becomes a tumor-inducing agent, an oncogene.Examples of proto-oncogenes include RAS, WNT, MYC, ERK and TRK.

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