Tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes regulate cell division. Tumor suppressor genes slow down or stop cell division for repair of DNA damage and promote apoptosis (the normal, controlled death of cells). A mutated tumor suppressor gene results in uncontrolled cell growth, which can be associated with the HPV-related carcinogenisis of cervical cancer.
Proto-oncogenes promote cell division, initiate DNA synthesis, and inhibit apoptosis. Mutations occurring in proto-oncogenes convert them to oncogenes which can cause malignancy; this can also play a role in HPV-related malignancies.