Recessive Oncogenes and Anti-Oncogenes

  • J. K. Cowell
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 94 / 2)


The idea that inappropriate functions of specific genes can cause cancer has gained a lot of support from the study of acutely transforming retroviruses which carry oncogenes. Initially these oncogenes were isolated from avian retroviruses. Cellular homologues of these genes, termed proto-oncogenes, have been identified in eukaryotes. The demonstration that the introduction of activated oncogenes can confer a tumorigenic phenotype in certain cells has given rise to the concept that oncogenes act in a dominant manner. This appears to be true in chicken cells, for example, in which introduction of the src oncogene induces cancerous changes in host cells. This dominant transforming activity is not, however, a feature of all classes of genes that are involved in tumour development. Indeed, there is now a growing body of evidence to suggest that other classes of genes known as anti-oncogenes or suppressor genes may also function in the progressive series of events which leads to tumorigenesis.


Somatic Cell Hybrid Deletion Carrier Human Gene Mapping Recessive Oncogene Bladder Epithelial Cell Line 
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  • J. K. Cowell

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