Document Detail

Transposable elements--is there a link between evolution and cancer?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16239072     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Currently, the most predominant theory concerning the formation of cancer is that it is a genetic accident. Accordingly, various agents are thought to cause DNA damage which then subsequently activates oncogenes and inactivates tumor suppressor genes. This article, however, describes a theory that interprets cancer as a misguided adaptation. Stressors, which cannot be compensated for with the usual cell possibilities might arouse evolutionary mechanisms intended to create new protein variants. One of these is the activation of transposable elements which leads to a reformatting of the genome. The result of this process is either a cell that survives very well under stress (and will, therefore, never be detected), a dead cell (in case the process is ineffective), or a more or less abnormal and harmful cell that builds up a new but cancerous organ. This theory explains the complex genetic alterations which are present in almost all cancer cells. It also explains the action of non-mutagenic carcinogens. As part of the reformatting process of the cancer cell genome, activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes are not stochastic events but the result of an unlucky genomic composition.
Steffen Hauptmann; Wolfgang D Schmitt
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2005-10-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Medical hypotheses     Volume:  66     ISSN:  0306-9877     ISO Abbreviation:  Med. Hypotheses     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-01-10     Completed Date:  2006-06-22     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505668     Medline TA:  Med Hypotheses     Country:  Scotland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  580-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Pathology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Magdeburger Strasse 14, D-06097 Halle (Saale), Germany.
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MeSH Terms
DNA Damage
DNA Transposable Elements*
Evolution, Molecular
Genes, Bacterial
Models, Biological
Models, Genetic
Models, Theoretical
Neoplasms / etiology,  genetics*,  pathology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carcinogens; 0/DNA Transposable Elements

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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