Genome instability has been implicated in the generation of multiple somatic mutations that underlie cancer. Germline mutation in the retinoblastoma (RB) gene leads to tumor formation in both human and experimental animal models, and reintroduction of wild-type RB is able to suppress neoplastic phenotypes. Rb governs the passage of cells through the G1 phase-restriction point and this control is lost in most cancer cells. Rb has also been shown to promote terminal differentiation and prevent cell cycle reentry. Recent studies implicate Rb in mitotic progression, faithful chromosome segregation, checkpoint control, and chromatin remodeling, suggesting that Rb may function in the maintenance of genome integrity. It is likely that Rb suppresses tumor formation by virtue of its multiple biological activities. A single protein capable of performing multiple antioncogenic functions may be a common characteristic of other tumor suppressors including p53 and BRCA1/2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology