Journal of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics

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Opinion Article - Journal of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics (2024) Volume 9, Issue 1

From Proto-Oncogenes to Cancer Drivers: Unraveling the Evolution of Oncogenic Processes

Liza Tora*

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, ,Université de Strasbourg, ,France

*Corresponding Author:
Liza Tora
Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire,
Université de Strasbourg, France

Received: 27-Dec -2023, Manuscript No. JMOT-24-130084; Editor assigned: 29-Dec -2023, PreQC No. JMOT-24-130084 (PQ); Reviewed: 11 -Jan -2024, QC No. JMOT-24-130084; Revised: 14- Jan -2024, Manuscript No JMOT-24-130084 (R); Published: 22- Jan-2024, DOI: 10.35841 /jmot-9.1.187.

Citation: Kristino Jen, Institute for Quantitative Biosciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan. E-mail:

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Cancer, a complex and devastating disease, arises from the gradual accumulation of genetic alterations within cells. At the heart of this transformation lie oncogenes, the rogue counterparts of normal genes known as proto-oncogenes. Understanding the evolution of oncogenic processes from proto-oncogenes to cancer drivers is paramount in unraveling the intricate mechanisms behind cancer initiation and progression. [1].

Proto-oncogenes are essential components of cellular function, regulating processes such as cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Under normal circumstances, these genes act as molecular switches, tightly controlled to maintain cellular homeostasis. However, when alterations occur, they can become oncogenic, driving uncontrolled cell proliferation and malignant transformation [2]

Transcription initiation is the first step, where a complex of proteins called RNA polymerase binds to a specific region of DNA known as the promoter. This marks the beginning of transcription.Once bound to the promoter, RNA polymerase unwinds the DNA double helix and begins synthesizing a complementary mRNA strand. As it moves along the DNA template, RNA polymerase adds nucleotides to the growing mRNA chain, elongating it in a 5' to 3' direction. Meanwhile, the DNA double helix reforms behind the enzyme [3].

Transcription reaches its end through termination signals in the DNA sequence. These signals prompt the RNA polymerase to detach from the DNA template, releasing the newly synthesized mRNA molecule.However, the mRNA transcript emerging from transcription is not yet ready for translation into proteins. Before it can serve as a blueprint for protein synthesis, it undergoes a series of modifications, collectively referred to as RNA processing. This crucial step ensures the mRNA's stability, functionality, and specificity[4].

Capping: At the 5' end of the nascent mRNA molecule, a modified guanine nucleotide known as the 5' cap is added. This cap serves multiple purposes, including protection against degradation and facilitation of mRNA export from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. Additionally, it provides a binding site for the ribosome during translation initiation.Polyadenylation: At the 3' end of the mRNA molecule, a string of adenine nucleotides, known as the poly(A) tail, is added. This polyadenylation process enhances mRNA stability and is crucial for efficient translation [5].

In many eukaryotic genes, the primary mRNA transcript, known as pre-mRNA, contains non-coding sequences called introns interspersed with coding sequences called exons. Splicing is the process by which introns are removed from the pre-mRNA, and exons are joined together to form a mature mRNA molecule. This process is carried out by the spliceosome, a complex molecular machine composed of RNA and protein [6].

Once the mRNA transcript has undergone these modifications, it is ready for translation in the cytoplasm. Here, the genetic information encoded in the mRNA sequence is deciphered by ribosomes, molecular machines responsible for protein synthesis. The process of translation involves three key stages:Translation initiation begins with the assembly of the ribosome at the start codon (usually AUG) of the mRNA molecule. The start codon signals the ribosome to recruit the initiator tRNA, which carries the amino acid methionine. Once the ribosome is properly positioned, elongation can commence [7].

During elongation, the ribosome moves along the mRNA molecule in a 5' to 3' direction, reading the mRNA sequence in triplets of nucleotides called codons. As each codon is exposed, it attracts a complementary tRNA molecule carrying the corresponding amino acid. The ribosome catalyzes the formation of peptide bonds between adjacent amino acids, resulting in the elongation of the polypeptide chain.Translation terminates when a stop codon (UAA, UAG, or UGA) is encountered on the mRNA molecule. Unlike start codons, stop codons do not code for amino acids but signal the ribosome to release the completed polypeptide chain. The ribosome then dissociates from the mRNA, and the newly synthesized protein is released into the cytoplasm [8].

The intricate process of mRNA synthesis is tightly regulated and subject to a variety of cellular signals and checkpoints. Dysregulation of mRNA synthesis and processing can have profound consequences, leading to diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative disorders. Consequently, unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying mRNA synthesis holds great promise for the development of novel therapeutic interventions [9].

In recent years, advances in technology, such as next-generation sequencing and CRISPR-based genome editing, have revolutionized our understanding of mRNA synthesis and its regulatory networks. These breakthroughs have paved the way for the development of innovative therapeutic modalities, including mRNA-based vaccines and gene therapies, which harness the power of mRNA to modulate gene expression and treat a wide range of diseases [10].


In conclusion, mRNA synthesis is a fundamental process that lies at the heart of cellular communication and gene expression. From transcription initiation to translation termination, the journey of mRNA from DNA to protein is a meticulously orchestrated symphony of molecular interactions. By unraveling the intricacies of mRNA synthesis, scientists continue to uncover new insights into cellular biology and pave the way for transformative advances in medicine and biotechnology.


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