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Oncogenes

Oncogenes

M131/0603

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Credit

JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JIM DOWDALLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Oncogenes are genes in a cancer cell that influence the mutation, amplification, and proliferation of the cell. In this illustration, oncogenes are initiated by a fusion protein (green), a signal that is created by an abnormal positioning of two strands of DNA from two separate chromosomes. This in turn creates a code of unique sequences within the cell, here depicted as a B lymphocyte morphing into a tumor cell. This process allows malignant cells to proliferate and may prevent them from achieving programmed cell death.

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