<molecular biology, oncogene> A gene which encodes a protein that regulates cell growth and is able to cause potentially cancerous cells to destroy themselves.

In humans it is a 393 residue phosphoprotein that is a tumour suppressor gene rather than an oncogene, as it is frequently inactivated or mutated in tumours and transformed cells.

The gene is an antioncogene, and is often found mutated in smokers with lung cancer by a compound found in tobacco smoke, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon called benzo[a]pyrene.

The protein it encodes is a phosphoprotein that is 53 kilodaltons in mass.

(24 Mar 1998)