Some of the most interesting and challenging problems facing today's biologist are those related to various aspects of cellular regulation. Systems using representative cancer viruses of birds and of mammals as experimental models recently have given insights into the mechanisms of control of cellular morphology, differentiation, and growth. This is so because, when a cancer virus interacts with a cell, the malignant change that may result is manifested as a heritable alteration in these mechanisms. Therefore, better understanding of the interaction between a cancer virus and a cell is an important goal of both cancer research and more general biological research.
The purpose of this review is to discuss the various known tumor viruses, the current concept of the cellular genetic apparatus, and the various ways a tumor virus might interact with a cell to cause the malignant change.
Much of the information reviewed here was originally obtained from work
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