Oncogene is a gene which in certain circumstances can transform a cell into a tumour cell.

Everything we have has reason and meaning. Or there was some use in past.

What's the reason for we have oncogenes?

  • $\begingroup$ "What's the reason for we have oncogenes?".... Because they are essential for cell division. Please do some research before posting a question. $\endgroup$
    Mar 21 '16 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Implemented on 1st comment. Why are they essential for cell division? I thought they cause cancer. $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '16 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ @WYSIWYG Found this on wiki " Most normal cells will undergo a programmed form of rapid cell death (apoptosis) when critical functions are altered. Activated oncogenes can cause those cells designated for apoptosis to survive and proliferate instead." Also, >An oncogene is a gene that has the potential to cause cancer. Nowhere written for normal body functions. $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '16 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ Found >An oncogene is a cancer-causing gene. We have about 20 thousand genes in each of our cells, some of which are involved in fostering or promoting cell proliferation. When one of the proliferation-promoting gene suffers damage, it begins to urge the cell to proliferate uncontrollably rather than to do so in carefully measured amounts. Such a damaged growth-promoting gene is an oncogene.> on another site. talkabouthealth.com/… $\endgroup$ Mar 21 '16 at 12:27
  • $\begingroup$ A hyperactive allelic variant of a proto-oncogene is an oncogene (except for the virally encoded ones. It is all a stupid nomenclature). Highly expressed proto-oncogenes can also cause cancer. Since it is a variant, it cannot be grouped separately. Basically a good gene gone rogue. You have these genes that help cell proliferate which can mutate to become hyperactive. I cannot blame you here. It is a bad definition. $\endgroup$
    Mar 21 '16 at 12:28

From wikipedia

A proto -oncogene is a normal gene that could become an oncogene due to mutations or increased expression. The resultant protein encoded by an oncogene is termed oncoprotein. Proto - oncogenes code for proteins that help to regulate cell growth and differentiation.

So, we actually do not have oncogenes. Instead we have proto-oncogenes. Due to mutation or virus, these are converted into oncogenes.

Since, proto-oncogenes are required for normal cell division and differentiation, they are necessary. Also, these can change to oncogenes any time. So, we always have to live with probability of this conversion.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Given that you wrote and answered your own question so close in time I'm suspecting this is just a rep grab. This post should be a community wiki, and you should also credit material, rather than just stealing it. $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Mar 22 '16 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ Credit must be properly given where it is due, regardless of the source. $\endgroup$
    – rg255
    Mar 22 '16 at 16:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.