The transformation of normal precursors into cancer cells is an intricately regulated, multistep process. The master regulatory genes that play a crucial role in the process of organism development may also play a key role in carcinogenesis. From such a point of view, cancer is not simply a genetic disease that is due to a progressive accumulation of mutation—it is also a disorder of the developmental system of the tissue in which cancer emerges. Master regulators and their genes disturb stem cell differentiation upon mutation and thus may serve as targets for cancer therapy, in addition to the classic oncogenes and suppressors of tumor formation. This review is an attempt to give a modern concept of master genes and their functions in adult stem cells of the organism and in carcinogenesis, with pancreatic cancer as an example.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 13, 2015
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