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Oral Dis. 1995 Sep;1(3):172-88.

Review article: The role of oncogenes, tumour suppressor genes and growth factors in oral squamous cell carcinoma: a case of apoptosis versus proliferation.

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1
Oral Biology and Pathology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.

Abstract

Mutation, deactivation and disregulated expression of oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes may be involved in the pathogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Deactivation of the p53 tumour-suppressor gene allows cell proliferation and blocks apoptosis of malignant oral keratinocytes. Mutation in the ras oncogene results in persistent mitogenic signalling. Upregulatioed c-Myc expression, in the presence of growth factors, provides an additional proliferative signal. Loss of retinoblastoma tumour-suppressor gene (Rb) function may contribute to oral keratinocyte hyperproliferation and recent evidence suggests that simultaneous deactivation of both p53 and Rb is required for tumourigenesis. Enhanced Bcl-2 and reduced Fas expression inhibit tumour cell apoptosis and may convey resistance to cytotoxic drugs and T cell-mediated cytotoxicity, respectively. Exogenous mutagens such as tobacco, alcohol and viral oncogenes may cause altered expression of oncogenes and tumour-suppressor genes in some cases of oral SCC. The impact of these mechanisms on future therapies for oral SCC is highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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