Acutely oncogenic retrovirus cause a broad spectrum of malignancies (for review see Graf & Beug 1978; Teich et al 1982). The genomes of these viruses harbor cellular sequences that are responsible for the induction of cellular transformation in vitro and neoplasia in vivo. These acquired sequences, termed viral oncogenes, have their origin in the normal cellular genome (Bishop & Varmus 1982). Proto-oncogenes, the cellular cognates 539 0743-4634/90/1115-0539$02.00 RANSONE & VERMA of nearly two scores of different retroviraI oncogenes have now been identified and extensively analyzed (Stehelin et a1 1976; Bishop & Varmus 1982; Bishop 1983, 1987; van Beveren & Verma 1985). In recent years, major research efforts have focused on elucidating the physiologic role of proto- oncogenes in normal cells. The ability of acutely oncogenic retroÂ viruses to interfere with the control of normal cell proliferation and differÂ entiation has led to the postulate that the cellular homologues of viral oncogene products may fulfill certain physiologic functions in these proÂ cesses (Graf & Beug 1978; Ellis et al 1981; Bishop 1981, 1983; Bishop & Varmus 1982; Goyette et aI 1983). Proto-oncogenes can now be classified functionally into three broad categories: (a) growth factors and receptors; (b) mediators of
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1990
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