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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Molecular Testing for Cervical Cancer. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Review: Tumor Suppressor Genes, Proto-Oncogenes and Oncogenes

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.