FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY & MATHILDE VANSPEYBROUCK, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cancer-causing genetic mutation. Animation showing the role played by a genetic mutation that causes a form of cancer. A protooncogene that codes for a Ras protein mutates into an oncogene. This protein plays an intermediate role in the transfer of proliferating signal from the cell membrane to the nucleus. When operating normally, this protein acts only briefly. The mutation shown here has caused the receptor (yellow, upper right) for a growth factor (red) to remain constantly active, even if the signal has disappeared. The result is the continuous sending of proliferating signals (centre, red and blue dots) to the nucleus (lower centre), resulting in cancer. For this animation with labels, see K004/2694. For an animation of the normal, non-mutated receptor, see K004/2693.
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