- any gene that is a causative factor in the initiation of cancerous growth.
- any of several genes, first identified in viruses but present in all cells, that when abnormally activated can cause cancer
n.1969, from onco- + -gene, from root of Greek gignere (perf. genui) “beget,” from PIE *gen- “produce” (see genus). Related: Oncogenesis (1832). n.
- A gene that causes the transformation of normal cells into cancerous tumor cells, especially a viral gene that transforms a host cell into a tumor cell.
- A gene that causes normal cells to become cancerous either because the gene is mutated or because the gene is expressed at the wrong time in development. See Note at cancer.
Genes in animal DNA that cause cancer.