Science Education

Jargon: Oncogene (A gene whose overexpression can help drive cancer)

Oncogene: a gene whose regular function is to promote the division of a cell. When the expression of this gene is increased, the cell divides much more than it should, which can lead to cancer.

A useful analogy is that of a car. When the expression of an oncogene is disrupted, it can be like putting your foot down on the accelerator.

Many drugs were designed targeting these oncogenes to prevent their unbridled expression.

The word comes from the Greek root onkos meaning “mass” or “tumour”. The study of cancer is indeed called “oncology”.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s