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Chapter 14: Mutations, DNA Repair and Cancer

Page history last edited by Derek Weber 12 years, 7 months ago

Learning Objectives 

14.1 Mutation
•  Define mutation and describe why cells have so many systems devoted to avoiding or correcting mutations.
•  Describe the effects of different point mutations.
•  Explain why mutations that occur outside of coding regions of structural genes can influence gene expression.
•  List the different chromosomal mutations and their effects.


14.2 DNA Repair
•  Explain why DNA repair is critical for cells.
•  Describe the different forms of DNA repair.


14.3 Cancer
•  Describe the role of a carcinogen in the development of cancer.
•  Outline the path of a cancer from initial occurrence through benign growth, malignancy, and finally the death of the individual.
•  Compare and contrast oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes.
•  Explain how a mutation in a gene can lead to cancer.
•  Describe cancer in terms of cell cycle control.
•  List causes of cancer in addition to gene mutation.


Chapter Summary

Mutations are changes in the genetic material that are passed on to the next generation. They can be caused by a number of factors, and may or may not have a noticeable effect on a cell or on an organism. DNA repair systems are in place within the cell that detect and repair changes in the nucleotide sequence prior to cell division. These repair mechanisms prevent the alteration in DNA sequence from being passed along to the next generation of cells. However, some mutations go undetected or unrepaired and are passed along to the next generation of cells. If these mutations affect the function of critical genes, particularly those involved in the regulation of cell division, they may result in cancer.


Cell cycle control is based on a check-point feedback system. When certain conditions at a checkpoint are met, the cell proceeds to the next stage of activity or division. Cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdk’s) and cyclins are intimately associated with these control processes. Unicellular organisms make independent decisions on whether or not to divide. Multicellular organisms must limit independent cell proliferation to maintain the integrity of the whole. Eukaryotes utilize various growth factors to do this. Disruption of these control mechanisms is characteristic of cancer.


Virtual Lectures  

a. Oncogenes

b. Tumor Suppressor Genes 


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PowerPoint Presentations (click link to download)


Reading Assignments and Homework

Please access the ConnectPlus site for Health Science Academy to access our reading assignments and homework.




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