Molecular Biology of Retinoblastoma
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The molecular biology of retinoblastoma has led to a revolution in our understanding of cancer biology. This chapter reviews the discovery and subsequent elucidation of RB1, the first tumor suppressor gene, and its protein product, Rb. The Rb pathway plays a key regulatory role in gene transcription, cell cycle regulation, cellular differentiation, apoptosis, and the maintenance of chromosomal stability. This critical tumor suppressor pathway is disrupted in the vast majority of human cancers; thus retinoblastoma has had a far-reaching impact on cancer research that far exceeds its clinical prevalence. New discoveries will continue to emerge from the study of retinoblastoma and the Rb pathway, and these will likely play an important role in the continued search for better cancer therapies.
KeywordsRetinoblastoma Eye cancer Tumor suppressor gene Cell cycle Differentiation Apoptosis
Compliance with Ethical Requirements
Conflict of Interest
Scott D. Walter, M.D., M.Sc. and J. William Harbour, M.D. declare that they have no conflict of interest.
No human or animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.
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