Cancer Gene Project Essay

487 WordsNov 21, 20122 Pages
This cancer gene affects many children during early stages in life. The general medical definition to Retinoblastoma would be: -A hereditary malignant tumor of the retina that develops during childhood, is derived from retinal germ cells, and is associated with a chromosomal abnormality- Looking at each of the following questions will reveal how it should function, what is exactly is, what is does mutated, and what the mutated is associated with. Retinoblastoma, a rare childhood tumor of retinal cells, provide the latest example of why it’s important to not limit ones attention to only those genes containing associated mutations when seeking treatment methods for a given inherited disease. 1. Is the Gene a proto-oncogene, tumor suppressor, DNA repair enzyme, or something else? a. The retinoblastoma gene is a type of gene known as a "tumor suppressor gene." Tumor suppressor genes act as a "brake" on cell division. The retinoblastoma gene is present in all cells of the body. Researcher’s estimate that 40 percent of all retinoblastomas are germinal, which means that RB1 mutations occur in all of the body's cells, including reproductive cells (sperm or eggs). People with germinal retinoblastoma may have a family history of the disease, and they are at risk of passing on the mutated RB1 gene to the next generation. The other 60 percent of retinoblastomas are non-germinal, which means that RB1 mutations occur only in the eye and cannot be passed to the next generation. 2. What does the normal (functional) version of the gene do in the cell? a. The RB gene is essential for the normal functioning of the cell cycle. Cells respond to a variety of environmental factors that instruct them to grow and divide, rest, or undergo apoptosis. Disruption of these signals can lead to unregulated cell growth, which ultimately results in cancer. The control of the cell division

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