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Unformatted text preview: or to inactivate both alleles of a gene which functions to prevent cell division. The former class of genes are known as oncogenes and the latter as tumour suppressor genes. Oncogenes Most examples of oncogenes were discovered by molecular virologists working in the 1970s and 80s. They were studying RNA viruses which had the property of transforming cells which they infected from a normal to a cancerous state. The viruses had aquired copies of host genes (protooncogenes) which had mutated (into oncogenes). The normal roles of the genes were varied. Some were growth factors involved in the normal stimulation of cells to divide. Some were growth factor receptor proteins which would now stimulate their targets even without binding external growth factors. Some were themselves transcription factors, directly stimulating other genes....
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- Fall '10