Oncogenes: An Introduction to the Concept of Cancer Genes by Kathy B. Burck M.D., Ph.D., Edison T. Liu M.D., James W.

By Kathy B. Burck M.D., Ph.D., Edison T. Liu M.D., James W. Larrick M.D., Ph.D. (auth.)

"Cancer viruses" have performed a paradoxical function within the heritage of melanoma study. found in 1911 through Peyton Rous (1) on the Rockefeller Institute, they have been principally neglected for a number of many years. Witness his eventual acceptance for a Nobel Prize, yet now not until eventually 1966-setting an all time checklist for latency, and testimony to at least one extra benefit of durability. within the Nineteen Fifties, one other Rockefeller Nobelist, Wendell Stanley, spearheaded a crusade to concentration awareness on viruses as etiological brokers in melanoma, his plat­ shape having been the chemical characterization of the tobacco mosaic virus as a natural protein-correction, ribonucleoprotein-in 1935 (2). This doctrine was once a centerpiece of the U.S. nationwide melanoma campaign of 1971: if human cancers have been attributable to viruses, the valuable activity used to be to isolate them and get ready vaccines for immunization. At that time, many observers felt that maybe an excessive amount of recognition was once being dedicated to melanoma viruses. It was once challenging even if viruses performed an etiological function in additional than a handful of human cancers.

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With cloned DNA probes available, it is clear that these RNA-DNA hybridization procedures allows detection of transcripts corresponding to particular genes. The presence of particular transcripts and a crude estimation of abundance can be derived from the "dot blot" techniques. Comparison of sizes of natural genes, primary transcripts, processed transcripts, and eDNA is possible utilizing the Northern technique. IN VITRO TRANSLATION ASSAYS Analysis of the protein products of isolated mRNA is possible using an in vitro translation system.

Singlenontransformed cells rarely if ever are able to establish a colony in vitro. Such cells tend to retain their normal, diploid chromosome complement; they are homogeneous and do not change significantly until they die or undergo transformation. Transformed cells, on the other hand, are frequently phenotypically abnormal (Fig. 16B). They do not necessarily resemble the cells from which they originally were derived, and they may be heterogeneous among themselves (pleomorphism). They grow in a nonordered way and tend to pile up; transformed fibroblasts appear to have lost their contact inhibition.

Somewhat surprisingly, neither of these regions is related by sequence homology to the HSV -1 transforming region. " Again, no specific HSV-2 DNA sequences are detectable in cells transformed by HSV-2 DNA fragments, suggesting that the herpes simplex viruses may transform by a "hit and run" mechanism analogous to a chemical carcinogen. Specific EHV sequences, on the other hand, appear to be integrated into host DNA in EHVtransformed cells and may be associated with "maintenance" of the transformed phenotype (by analogy with other oncogene-containing DNA tumor viruses and retroviruses).

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