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(Science: molecular biology) The normal, cellular equivalent of an oncogene, thus usually a gene involved in the signalling or regulation of cell growth. In general, cellular proto-oncogenes are prefixed with a c, rather than their abnormal viral counterparts, that are prefixed with a v, for example c myc and v myc.

They are fragments of dNA, related to oncogenes but are the normal switches used to control growth and tissue repair.