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Cell. 2004 Jan 23;116(2):235-46.

Principles of tumor suppression.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Genetics and Tumor Cell Biology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 332 North Lauderdale, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


Molecular genetic studies of familial cancer syndromes identified and defined the recessive nature of tumor suppressor genes and resolved the paradox of why tumors arising in such families exhibited an autosomally dominant pattern of inheritance. Subsequent characterization of tumor suppressor proteins revealed their widespread involvement in sporadic cancers and pinpointed key mechanisms that protect animals against tumor development. We now recognize that tumor suppressor genes regulate diverse cellular activities, including cell cycle checkpoint responses, detection and repair of DNA damage, protein ubiquitination and degradation, mitogenic signaling, cell specification, differentiation and migration, and tumor angiogenesis. Their study has become a centerpiece of contemporary cancer research.

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