Oncogenes are the activated forms of normal cellular genes whose protein products are involved in key signalling pathways governing cell survival, proliferation and differentiation. Through a variety of mechanisms, including viral infection and chemical‐induced mutation, these proteins become hyperactive or overexpressed and contribute to the cell growth and behaviour typical of cancer cells.

Keywords: oncogene; proto‐oncogene; oncoprotein; retrovirus; mutation; signal transduction; signalling pathway; cell cycle; transformation; cancer

Figure 1.

Mechanisms of oncogene activation. LTR, long terminal repeat.

Figure 2.

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling pathway.



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Perry, Amanda R(Apr 2001) Oncogenes. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001474]