Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses: An Overview

Publication Date
DOI: 10.3390/v3060858
  • Editorial
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine


Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses: An Overview Viruses 2011, 3, 858-860; doi:10.3390/v3060858 viruses ISSN 1999-4915 Editorial Cell Transformation by RNA Viruses: An Overview Hung Fan Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Cancer Research Institute, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697, USA; E-Mail: [email protected]; Tel.: 1-949-824-5554; Fax: +1-949-4023 Received: 8 June 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 15 June 2011 Studies of oncogenic viruses have made seminal contributions to the molecular biology of cancer. Key discoveries include the identification of viral oncogenes and cellular proto-oncogenes, elucidation of signal transduction pathways, and identification of tumor suppressor genes. The origins of cancer virology began almost exactly one hundred years ago with the discovery of avian sarcoma and acute leukemia viruses—RNA-containing viruses of the retrovirus family. The study of animal cancer viruses accelerated beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with the discovery of DNA viruses that could transform cells in culture, and the development of quantitative assays for transformation by DNA and RNA-containing tumor viruses. The discovery of reverse transcriptase in retroviruses in 1970 also greatly accelerated research on these viruses. Indeed RNA and DNA tumor viruses led the way in cancer molecular biology during this era before molecular cloning. It was possible to physically purify virus particles and generate specific hybridization probes for viral DNA and RNA at a time when it was not possible to analyze cellular genes in the same manner. Laboratory studies on RNA and DNA tumor viruses (many of them animal viruses) are highly relevant to human cancer. First, many of the principles of viral oncogenesis elucidated by these studies are directly applicable to human cancers, including those that are not caused by viruses. In additi

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.