• Fred Bunz


An oncogene is a mutated form of a normal cellular gene – called a proto-oncogene – that contributes to the development of a cancer. Proto-oncogenes typically regulate basic processes that direct cell growth and cell differentiation. Most proto-oncogenes are highly conserved in evolutionarily diverse species, underscoring the fact that genes of this class play central roles in fundamental cellular processes. Mutations of proto-oncogenes that cause their conversion to oncogenes cause many of the perturbations in cell growth and differentiation that are commonly seen in cancer cells.


PIK3CA Mutation Blast Crisis Philadelphia Chromosome MYCN Amplification Single Base Substitution 
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Further Reading

  1. Bishop JM (1981) Enemies within: the genesis of retrovirus oncogenes. Cell 23:5–6CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Epstein MA (2001) Historical background. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 356:413–420CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Garraway LA, Sellers WR (2006) Lineage dependency and lineage-survival oncogenes in human cancer. Nat Rev Cancer 6:593–602CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Martin GS (2004) The road to Src. Oncogene 23:7910–7917CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Mitelman F, Johansson B, Mertens F (2007) The impact of translocations and gene fusions on cancer causation. Nat Rev Cancer 7:233–245CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Rowley JD (2001) Chromosome translocations: dangerous liaisons revisited. Nat Rev Cancer 1:245–250CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Sawyers CL (1999) Chronic myeloid leukemia. N Engl J Med 340:1330–1340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Schwab M (1999) Oncogene amplification in solid tumors. Semin Cancer Biol 9:319–325CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Thomas RK et al (2007) High-throughput oncogene mutation profiling in human cancer. Nat Genet 39:347–351CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Vogt PK (2010) Retroviral oncogenes: a historical primer. Nat Rev Cancer 12:639–664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Weinberg RA (1997) The cat and mouse games that genes, viruses, and cells play. Cell 88:573–575CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Bunz
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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