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Encyclopedia > Tumor supressor gene

A tumor suppressor gene is a gene that reduces the probability that a cell in a multicellular organism will turn into a tumor cell. A mutation or deletion of such a gene will increase the probability of a tumor. In that way, a tumor suppressor gene is similar to an oncogene.


Tumor suppressor genes, or more precisely, the proteins they code for, either have a dampening or repressive effect on the regulation of the cell cycle or promote apoptosis, and sometimes do both. The functions of tumor suppressor proteins fall into several categories [1] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14744434) including:

  1. Repression of genes that are essential for the continuing of the cell cycle. If these genes are not expressed, the cell cycle will not continue, effectively inhibiting cell division.
  2. Coupling the cell cycle to DNA damage. As long as there is damaged DNA in the cell, it should not divide. If the damage can be repaired, the cell cycle can continue.
  3. If the damage can not be repaired, the cell should initiate apoptosis, the programmed cell death, to remove the threat it poses for the greater good of the organism.
  4. Some proteins involved in cell adhesion prevent tumor cells from dispersing, block loss of contact inhibition, and inhibit metastasis [2] (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=12841864)

The first tumor suppressor protein discovered was the pRb protein in human retinoblastoma; however, recent evidence has also implicated pRb as a tumor survival factor. Another important tumor suppressor is the p53 gene.


See also

External links

  • Understanding Cancer (http://press2.nci.nih.gov/sciencebehind/cancer/cancer48.htm), basic information from the National Cancer Institute.
  • Cancer Biology (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/books/bv.fcgi?rid=cmed.section.1871), online textbook.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Tumor suppressor gene - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (485 words)
A tumor suppressor gene is a gene that reduces the probability that a cell in a multicellular organism will turn into a tumor cell.
Unlike oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes generally follow the 'two-hit hypothesis,' which implies that both alleles that code for a particular gene must be affected before an effect is manifested.
Tumor suppressor genes, or more precisely, the proteins for which they code, either have a dampening or repressive effect on the regulation of the cell cycle or promote apoptosis, and sometimes do both.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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