Solution-What is the definition of an oncogene

1) Cancer is the result of abhorrent signaling that results in cells dividing rapidly, and out of the control of the “collective system” (A.K.A. the body). Considering the fact that signaling occurs most often via phosphorylation of proteins by other proteins, would the development and use of drugs that prohibit phosphorylations from occurring in our cells be a reasonable cure for all cancers? What consequences, if any, might come about if the entire population immediately begins to take these “phosphorylation blocking” drugs as a preventative treatment against cancer (like we take aspirin for heart disease).                                   

2) What is the definition of an Oncogene? What are cyclins? In terms of Structure or Function, are the products of Oncogenes and cylins the same or very different entities in our cells? Provide me with an example of each (a cyclin and an Oncogene) and a brief description of what the “cellular consequence” of expression of these provided examples is on the cellular level.

3) Steroid hormones are required by the body at puberty and into adolescence to regulate growth and cell division via their interaction with cellular receptors and the signaling cascades/pathways that follow. Describe for me the difference between the two major classes of steroids, anabolic and catabolic steroids. What might you expect the result of signaling cascades to be in cells receiving either anabolic or catabolic “signals”?

 At some point in late adolescence, steroid production decreases by almost 100 fold, as we transition into “adulthood”. Why might we wish to stop these signals from constantly being in our blood stream? What result might these steroids have on cancer cells where abhorrent signaling is already causing an increased rate of cell division/growth? Could steroid use result in Cancer?

4) Studies have shown that very early and primitive forms of life generated proteins which contained very small percentages of the amino acids Serine, Threonine, Tyrosine, and Histidine. These organisms are now extinct. These forms of life were postulated to have difficulties in adjusting to changes in the extracellular environment (climate, chemicals, invading organisms, toxins, etc.) which resulted in their extinction. Though these organisms are now extinct, and we have never seen or studied a live and functioning version of one of these organisms, explain how scientists could postulate with any certainty on organisms that died millions of years ago based solely on the information provided above.

5) Describe the relationship between PKC and both DAG and Ca2+. Is the signaling by PKC long term signaling or short term signaling. Which molecule might contribute to duration of PKC signaling?

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