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The Protein Products Of The Myc And Myb Oncogenes And Adenovirus E1a Are Structurally Related

R. Ralston, J. Bishop
Published 1983 · Biology, Medicine

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Structural and functional homologies have been found among proteins encoded by several retroviral oncogenes, demonstrating the existence of families of these genes1. Because the retroviral oncogenes have cellular homologues1,2, the existence of similar families among these ‘cellular oncogenes’ is also implied (for a review, see ref. 2). Cellular genes belonging to these families have been found in such evolutionarily distant species as humans3,4, fruit flies5,6, nematodes5 and brewer's yeast (E. Scolnick and S. Reed, personal communications), consistent with the hypothesis that these genes have evolved from a small number of ancestral sequences2. We extend these observations by showing here that the proteins encoded by the oncogenes myc, myb and adenovirus E1a are structurally related. Our findings suggest that oncogenes of RNA and DNA tumour viruses may in at least some instances share evolutionary origins and function according to common principles.
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