Tumor Suppressor Genes: Tumor suppressor genes are normal genes present in our DNA that help regulate cell growth, prevent the formation of tumors, and maintain genomic stability.
When these genes are functioning properly, they help control cell division, repair DNA damage, and promote programmed cell death (apoptosis).
Mutations or alterations in these genes can disrupt their normal functions, leading to uncontrolled cell growth and an increased risk of cancer.
Cell Cycle Regulation: Tumor suppressor genes, such as TP53 (p53) and p16INK4a, help regulate the cell cycle, ensuring that cells divide and replicate properly.
DNA Repair: Certain tumor suppressor genes, including BRCA1 and BRCA2, are involved in DNA repair processes.
Apoptosis Induction: Tumor suppressor genes can trigger apoptosis, a natural process of programmed cell death.
By promoting apoptosis in cells with severe DNA damage or abnormal growth, these genes eliminate potentially cancerous cells before they can form tumors.