Cancer, cell transformation, tumor suppressor genes, proto-oncogenes

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Soil + Crop Sciences
SOCR 330
Sarah Ward

7 December What is Cancer? Many different forms (over 200 diseases) Transformation of normal cell to malignant cell Uncontrolled cell division (neoplasia) Migration of malignant cell to other sites (metastasis) Tumors derived from repeated division of an individual transformed cell Normal vs. Transformed Cells Normal cells Limited lifespan in culture (lose telomeres and stop dividing) Need to attach to hard surface in culture Stop dividing if crowded Genetically stable Maintain cell characteristics Transformed cells “Immortal” (divide indefinitely in culture) Can divide in suspension Keep dividing even if crowded Genetically unstable (high rates of mutation and aneuploidy) Lose cell characteristics Genetic Events Leading to Cell Transformation Malignant cells result of mutation in key genes Cancer may result from multiple mutations (e.g. colon cancer) or a single mutation (e.g. retinoblastoma) Cancers from known single-gene mutations include Familial breast cancer (BRCA1 gene) Bladder cancer (p21 ras gene) Retinoblastoma (RB gene) Key mutations Inactivation of tumor suppressor gene Activation of proto-oncogenes Inactivating Tumor Suppressor Genes: RB gene Codes for pRB protein Binds to E2F transcription factor preventing G1/S transition in
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