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Name: Chanel 
Status: Student
Age: 15
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: January 2004

How do cancer cells differ from "normal" cells in relation to the cell cycle?

Cancer cells have mutations in the genes that control the cell cycle. Some of these genes tell the cell cycle to proceed, in other words they are "go" genes like the accelerator in your car. These are called proto-oncogenes. Some of these genes tell the cell cycle to stop when the cell is done dividing and no more cells are needed. These are called tumor suppressor genes. They are like the brake on your car. If either of these are mutated, it causes the cell cycle to go too fast, like having your accelerator stuck to the floor or losing your brakes. So the cancer cells divide too fast and pile up in one area, this is called a tumor.


This is an extremely complex issue. Essentially cell cycle is everything when it comes to control of growth in cells and that is just what cancer is...a loss in the control of cell growth. There are many known and probably far too many more unknown control points in the cell cycle that normal cells lose when the become cancerous. These can be in any of the stages, G1, G2, or even S. There are a number of genes which exert control in the cell cycle, on eof the best known is P53 which is implicated in over 50% of human cancers.


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