Reputed Oncogene May Act as a Tumor Suppressor

Just because a gene is not, as suspected, an oncogene doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be targeted by anticancer drugs. A gene may be nothing more than an accessory after the fact, or even an innocent bystander, and still merit targeting and inhibition. Still, when it comes to fighting cancer, do we want to settle for rough justice?

An oncogene is a gene that would ordinarily participate in normal cell growth and proliferation, but for a mutation that causes the gene to instigate abnormal cell growth and proliferation, that is, cancer. One gene that has been considered an oncogene is PLK1, or polo-like kinase 1. Evidence, much of it circumstantial, has been accumulating against PLK1 for decades. New findings, however, indicate that PLK1 may have been misjudged all this time.

According to researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and the German Cancer Research Centre ...