In this review we summarize some recent developments concerning 4 'master genes' involved in cancer development through their actions on cell proliferation and apoptosis. The p53 tumor suppressor gene determines growth arrest and apoptosis in response to ionizing radiation, UV rays and DNA-damaging therapeutic agents. Bcl2 gene protects tumor cell from apoptosis induced by several agents including radiation and chemioterapics, apparently working as agonist of p53. This functional antagonism is substantiated by demonstration of downmodulalion of the bcl2 gene through the p53-induced transcriptional silencing of bcl2. c-myc is a gene involved in proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. It cooperates with bcl2 in the induction of a transformed phenotype and it requires the presence of wt p53 for apoptosis induction. Most recently, the oncosuppressor pRb has been also involved in apoptosis regulation, either directly or through its interaction with other proteins as E2F1. We believe that knowledge of the functional and molecular interactions between these 4 genes involved in cancer development may represent the basis for improved prognostic and therapeutic approaches.
|Translated title of the contribution||Molecular regulation of apoptosis|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||EOS Rivista di Immunologia ed Immunofarmacologia|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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