From Proto-Oncogene To 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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Conversion of proto-oncogenes
There are two mechanisms by which proto-oncogenes can be converted to cellular oncogenes:
Quantitative: Tumor formation is induced by an increase in the absolute number of proto-oncogene products or by its production in inappropriate cell types.

Qualitative: Conversion from proto-oncogene to transforming gene (c-onc) with changes in the nucleotide sequence which responsible for the acquisition of the new properties.

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