Cell transformation is a process by which normal cells become cancerous, or malignant. It occurs when DNA mutations accumulate in the cell and cause it to change its behavior from normal, healthy cell growth and division to uncontrolled growth and resistance to death signals. The resulting cancer cells are capable of invading and destroying nearby tissues as well as spreading throughout the body via the bloodstream and lymphatic system.
The process of cell transformation involves several steps. Initially, a mutation in the DNA of a cell causes it to become unstable, meaning that its genetic material can no longer be accurately replicated during cell division. As these mutant cells continue to divide, additional genetic changes occur that further disrupt the stability of their DNA sequences. These mutations may include structural changes such as deletions or rearrangements of large segments of genetic information or alterations in single genes known as point mutations. In addition, gene amplification (multiple copies) or overexpression (increased activity) may also occur due to these disruptions. This accumulation of various types of mutated cellular genes leads to increased expression levels for some genes while decreasing others’ expression levels – creating an abnormal cellular environment characterized by unregulated growth and survival mechanisms that allow for tumor formation over time if unchecked by other processes such as apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Describe how normal cells go through the process of transformation into cancer cells. How is this process different from DNA mutations associated with genetic disease?
The process leading up to cancer formation differs significantly from most cases involving genetic diseases associated with inherited defects in chromosomes or single genes present at birth. While both involve DNA mutations, those seen in inherited diseases usually result from either large deletions/duplications within one gene (genetic disease), whereas those found in tumors can involve multiple different genes simultaneously being altered at once (cell transformation).
Also, unlike hereditary conditions where an individual carries a pre-existing defect likely with variable penetrance depending on environmental factors; tumors develop through progressive accumulations of numerous disruptive molecular events acquired spontaneously during the life span due to environmental stresses such as radiation exposure or carcinogen exposure – not necessarily passed down genetically across generations like some inherited diseases are prone too