Pathways, Overview

The 3-D animations in this Pathway to Cancer section focuses on a single pathway that regulates growth and protein production.

Cells communicate with each other using a “language” of chemical signals. The cell grows, divides, or dies according to the signals it receives. Disruptions in cellular communication contribute to cancer. Cancer cells thrive without external growth signals and ignore anti-growth signals. Where does cellular communication fail? To understand the pathways to cancer, researchers study the signaling pathways in non-cancerous cells. Signals are generally transferred from the outside of the cell, through the cytoplasm and into the cell nucleus. Specialized proteins are used to pass the signal – a process known as signal transduction. Cells have a number of overlapping pathways to transmit signals to multiple targets. The pathways intersect, so cancer cells typically have disruptions in several signaling pathways. The 3-D animations in this Pathways to Cancer section focus on a single pathway that regulates growth and protein production. Mutations in many of the signaling proteins in this pathway (particularly those with the orange halo) can cause abnormal cell growth and proliferation.

cancer section, signaling pathways, cancer cells, chemical signals, cell nucleus, protein production, cancerous cells, cancer cancer, signal transduction, abnormal cell growth, cancer researchers, cellular communication, cytoplasm, disruptions, pathway, proliferation, protein signaling, protein to protein signaling

  • ID: 1017
  • Source: DNALC.IC

Related Content

1021. Pathways, To the nucleus

In this section learn that many signaling pathways ultimately pass messages to the nucleus of a cell.

  • ID: 1021
  • Source: IC

1018. Pathways, At the cell surface

In this section learn that a signaling pathway begins with the arrival of a chemical signal – such as a hormone or growth factor – at the cell surface.

  • ID: 1018
  • Source: IC

1022. Pathways, Inside the nucleus

In this section learn that an activated protein is transported into the nucleus through a pore in the nuclear membrane.

  • ID: 1022
  • Source: IC

1024. Pathways, Releasing the protein

In this section learn that newly made proteins leave the endoplasmic reticulum wrapped in a layer of membrane called a vesicle.

  • ID: 1024
  • Source: IC

16724. Concept 35: DNA responds to signals from outside the cell.

Signal transduction is cell communication that involves a series of molecular transformations.

  • ID: 16724
  • Source: DNAFTB

1019. Pathways, Beneath the membrane

In this section learn that the binding of growth factors outside the cell causes receptors ends to intertwine and activate each other, and once active, the modified receptor ends interact with messenger proteins.

  • ID: 1019
  • Source: IC

1020. Pathways, A bevy of interactions

In this section learn that receptors activate each other before binding an adaptor molecule and an exchange factor.

  • ID: 1020
  • Source: IC

941. Hallmarks, Evading death

Professor Robert Weinberg discusses how cancer cells have to learn how to avoid the process of programmed cell death known as apoptosis carried out in normal cells.

  • ID: 941
  • Source: IC

939. Hallmarks, Growing uncontrollably

Professor Robert Weinberg explains that cancer cells have to learn how to grow in the absence of growth stimulatory signals that normal cells require from their environment.

  • ID: 939
  • Source: IC

970. Causes, Inheritance: Cancer gene types

This section identifies that a cancer gene alters the normal functioning of a protein, and there are three major categories of cancer genes.

  • ID: 970
  • Source: IC