Difference Between Oncogene and Tumor Suppressor Gene

Core difference

Cancer cells have two main genes that lead to the transformation of a normal cell into a cancerous one. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Both differ from each other in many ways, such as how they are inherited or how they work. Oncogenes help the cell to grow, but when it mutates it becomes an oncogene that causes cancer. Tumor suppressor genes are found normally and their function is to regulate cell division, mutation in a tumor suppressor gene causes uncontrolled cell division.

What is Oncogene?

Proto-oncogene, genes that encode different proteins and help in the regulation of cell division. When a mutation (change in DNA sequence) occurs, it gives rise to an oncogene that interferes with the regulation of normal cell division. The proto-oncogene must respond to two signals, that is, when the proto-oncogenes produce the proteins that signal the start of cell division, and the other proto-oncogene must respond to the tumor suppressor gene that signals cell division to stop. When a proto-oncogene mutates, it becomes abnormal and is called an oncogene. An oncogene does not respond to the stop signal produced by the tumor suppressor gene. The cell then grows out of control, which in turn leads to cancer. Even if the mutation of a single allele of the proto-oncogene occurs, it is sufficient for the activity of an oncogene. Sometimes this single mutation is enough for the cancer to behave aggressively; if two oncogenic alleles are present, the result is a fast-growing tumor. Therefore, the oncogenic allele will result in cancer even if the associated allele is a proto-oncogene (a normal one). Basically, there are three activation methods that result in a proto-oncogene becoming an oncogene: mutation within a proto-oncogene, increased protein concentration, and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. this single mutation is enough for the cancer to behave aggressively; if two oncogenic alleles are present, the result is a fast-growing tumor. Therefore, the oncogenic allele will result in cancer even if the associated allele is a proto-oncogene (a normal one). Basically, there are three activation methods that result in a proto-oncogene becoming an oncogene: mutation within a proto-oncogene, increased protein concentration, and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. this single mutation is enough for the cancer to behave aggressively; if two oncogenic alleles are present, the result is a fast-growing tumor. Therefore, the oncogenic allele will result in cancer even if the associated allele is a proto-oncogene (a normal one). Basically, there are three activation methods that result in a proto-oncogene becoming an oncogene: mutation within a proto-oncogene, increased protein concentration, and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. the oncogenic allele will result in cancer even if the associated allele is a proto-oncogene (a normal one). Basically, there are three activation methods that result in a proto-oncogene becoming an oncogene: mutation within a proto-oncogene, increased protein concentration, and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. the oncogenic allele will result in cancer even if the associated allele is a proto-oncogene (a normal one). Basically, there are three activation methods that result in a proto-oncogene becoming an oncogene: mutation within a proto-oncogene, increased protein concentration, and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormality. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited. increased protein concentration and chromosomal abnormalities. Oncogenes cannot be inherited.

What is the tumor suppressor gene?

Tumor suppressor genes are normally found in our cells. They also function in the regulation of cell division by slowing down division, coupling the cell cycle to DNA damage, repairing DNA, or marking cells when they are due to die. The tumor suppressor gene codes for a protein that acts as a “stop” signal for cell division. The protein must be normal to stop cell division. If the tumor suppressor gene mutates, it results in an abnormal protein that causes uncontrolled cell division. The tumor suppressor gene is different from the oncogene, an oncogene results from the activation of the proto-oncogene, while the tumor suppressor gene causes cancer when they are inactivated. A single mutant allele of the tumor suppressor gene is not enough to cause cancer because the other normal allele will produce the protein that stops cell division. Therefore, two mutant tumor suppressor genes will cause cancer because there are no other normal genes present to signal cell division to stop. The tumor suppressor gene can be inherited.

Key differences

  1. The oncogene is the result of the activation of the proto-oncogene, while the tumor suppressor gene causes cancer when it is inactivated.
  2. Mutation in a single allele is enough for the oncogene to cause cancer, whereas for the tumor suppressor gene, mutation must occur in two alleles to cause cancer.
  3. Mutation in oncogenic allele occurs in somatic cells hence they are not inherited whereas tumor suppressor gene mutation can occur in germ cell or somatic cell and thus can be inherited.
  4. The gain-of-function mutation is the reason for the conversion of a proto-oncogene to an oncogene, while the loss-of-function mutation is the reason for the malfunction of the tumor suppressor gene.

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