Retroviral Oncogenes and Human Neoplasia
Carcinogenesis is a complex multistep process. For a molecular biologist seeking simpler model systems to gain insight into this neoplastic process, retroviruses have provided an excellent system because of their relatively simple biochemical organization. These viruses fall into two major groups: chronic leukemia viruses and acute transforming viruses. Chronic leukemia viruses cause tumors in susceptible hosts but only after a prolonged latent period of several months. These viruses are replication competant and can be propagated in vitro without transforming their host cells. In contrast, acute transforming viruses induce a variety of tumors including sarcomas, carinomas and hematopoietic tumors with a short latent perod of days to weeks. These viruses are generally replication defective and induce transformation of appropriate assay cells in vitro. Because of these properties, acute transforming viruses have been the subject of intensive investigations in the past two decades which have led to several important insights into the mechanisms involved in carcinogenesis.
KeywordsTransforming Gene Avian Myeloblastosis Virus Proviral Genome Human Neoplasia Bladder Carcinoma Cell Line
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