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Gene activation?

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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Gene activation?

Postby wheel » Thu Feb 14, 2008 4:39 pm

Is there something known as oncogene? I read from a biology book that oncogene will be activated to cause tumor. If this is true, then what will activate the genes?

Actually, i understand that all of our body changes are caused by the information encoded in the genes. Even aging process is caused by the action of genes. So, my question is, what activate these genes?? Please help me on this. Thank you.
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Postby BioLad » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:30 pm

An "oncogene" is a gene that causes a cell to become cancerous when it is active/inactive. These genes usually have a normal role in cell regulation A normal gene that has the potential to become an oncogene through mutation is called a "proto-oncogene". Here are two scenarios:

Scenario 1: Gene X cause cells to divide when the protein it codes for is active. If the gene mutates in such a way that the protein is over-produced or is always active, the cell can turn cancerous. (An example of this is the c-kit transmembrane protein in mast cells causing mastocytosis).

Scenario 2: Gene Y inhibits cell division when the protein it codes for it is active. Here a mutation knocking out one or both copies of Gene Y would result in uncontrolled cell division.

Things that can cause proto-oncogenes to become oncogenes include (but are not limited to):
-Point mutations (see c-kit)
-Insertions of foreign genetic elements in coding/regulatory sequences of proto-oncogenes
-Looking at them the wrong way...well ok maybe not that last one

You can also have oncogenes imported into the cells through viruses. Example of this is the Rous Sarcoma Virus.

Hope this helps
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Postby mcar » Fri Feb 15, 2008 12:39 am

Usually the environment is a very good mean to activate the oncogenes in our body. It also depends on the kind of lifestyle that we have at the same time. Now if our body or let's say the genetic material will fail to regulate and check the patterns after encoding processes, failure to do so would lead to deleterious effects and activation eventually of such.
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