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Explain the general concepts of proto-oncogenes and oncogenes and further describe different types of changes that underpin activation of proto-oncogenes - Essay Example

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Alterations present in the same gene are normally associated with various cancer types, and these malfunctioning genes are classified into proto-oncogenes, tumor…
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Explain the general concepts of proto-oncogenes and oncogenes and further describe different types of changes that underpin activation of proto-oncogenes
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"Explain the general concepts of proto-oncogenes and oncogenes and further describe different types of changes that underpin activation of proto-oncogenes"

Download file to see previous pages Tumor suppressors and proto-oncogenes act in the same way as the brakes and accelerator in a vehicle respectively. Controlled growth of cells is maintained through the regulative activity of tumor suppressors that slow growth of cells and proto-oncogenes that accelerate cell growth (Hanahan & Weinberg 2011, p. 650). Uncontrolled cell growth will occur when proto-oncogenes mutate to form oncogenes and accelerate growth of cells or if tumor suppressors mutate to prevent growth inhibition.
Proto-oncogenes in normal cells are responsible for the production of proteins that stimulate division of the cell through signals to the nucleus. The proteins involved in this signaling process, act through the signal transduction pathway or cascade that is made up of a series of steps (Bock & Marsh 2010, p. 32). The pathway is inclusive of a membrane receptor that binds the signal molecule, cytoplasmic proteins that convey the signal, and transcription factors that activate the cell division-related genes in the nucleus. Each of the cascade’s steps has a protein or factor that activates another, although some of these factors have the ability to activate more than one cellular protein. Oncogenes, on the other hand, are altered proto-oncogenes that are involved in coding for the molecules in signaling. They continuously activate the signaling pathway, which results in heightened factor or protein production, especially those involved in the stimulation of growth (Schwab 2013, p. 21). For example, the MYC proto-oncogene codes for transcription factors and is converted to an oncogenes that is related to over two thirds of all cancers. Ras, on the other hand, is an oncogene that acts as a switch in the pathways and mutations cause the pathway to remain in the on mode and causes uncontrolled growth of cells.
In order for a proto-oncogene to be converted to an oncogene, its original function is modified through any of three basic activation methods. The first activation method ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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