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Definition of Oncogene

Oncogene: 1. A gene that played a normal role in the cell as a proto-oncogene and that has been altered by mutation and now may contribute to the growth of a tumor.

Some of the more important oncogenes include:

  • ras (a signal transduction molecule),
  • myc (a transcription factor), src (a protein tyrosine kinase),
  • HER-2/neu, also called erbB-2 (a growth factor receptor),
  • hTERT (an enzyme involved in DNA replication), and
  • Bcl-2 (a membrane associated protein that prevents apoptosis).

2. The name of the biomedical journal. Oncogene is a journal for researchers interested in the molecular biology of malignant change including molecular biologists, cell biologists, oncologists, geneticists and biotechnologists.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4636
Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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