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Understanding Cancer Series

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  • Posted: 01/28/2005
  • Reviewed: 09/30/2009

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Slide 46

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Tumor Suppressor Genes Act Like a Brake Pedal

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Tumor suppressor genes are a family of normal genes that instruct cells to produce proteins that restrain cell growth and division. Since tumor suppressor genes code for proteins that slow down cell growth and division, the loss of such proteins allows a cell to grow and divide in an uncontrolled fashion. Tumor suppressor genes are like the brake pedal of an automobile. The loss of a tumor suppressor gene function is like having a brake pedal that does not function properly, thereby allowing the cell to grow and divide continually.

Tumor Suppressor Genes Act Like a Brake Pedal