Kofi Agbo HB1 The wrong question assignment

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Kofi Agbo HB1, Medicine
Date:26th
November,2018
Genetics Assignment
Index No. - 3433718
1. Discuss possible reasons why colorectal cancer is an adult cancer
whereas retinoblastoma affects children.
Ans. Colorectal cancer can arise as a result of epigenetic alterations in
genes, a subset of these genes called driver genes, believed to play a role
in cancer. In the CpG islands of protein-coding genes, the epigenetic
alterations are as a result of hypermethylation or hypomethylation of
these genes. Abnormal methylation is a normal characteristic of aging,
and thus the risk of developing colon cancer increases with aging, hence
why majority of colorectal cancer cases are found in adults.
In retinoblastoma cases however, when the eyes are developing to
maturity, they form immature progenitor cells called retinoblasts which
later become retina cells . A mutation in the RB1 gene in these
retinoblasts causes retinoblastoma. There being 2 alleles of the RB1 gene,
with the mutation being recessive, there must be a change in both copies
in a retinoblast for retinoblastoma to develop. Given that both mutations
must occur in the early stages of development in order for cancer to take
place, this cancer is therefore most likely to occur in children.
2. Propose a theory why so few hereditary cancer syndromes inherited
as autosomal dominant diseases, are caused by activated oncogenes,
whereas so many are caused by germline mutations in a
tumor-suppressor gene.
Ans. Autosomal dominant cancers with regards to oncogenes are
generally suppressed by tumour suppressor genes. This would decrease
the frequency of autosomal dominant diseases in relation to oncogene
mutations than to mutations in tumour suppressor genes, since there’s no
check on cancers caused by mutated suppressor genes.
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