what are oncogenic Viruses? And oncogenic DNA & RNA viruses.


Viruses that produce tumours in their natural hosts or in experimental animals, or which induce malignant transformation of cells on culture, are known as oncogenic viruses.


Some viral agents can ‘immortalise‘ infected cells, so that they become capable of continous multiplication in culture without processing other features of malignancy.Transformation is primarily recognised by a change in the morphology of the cultured cells.

THE transformed cells are altered in shape and lose the property of ‘contact inhibition’ so that, instead of growing as monolayer , they grow piled up, one over another, forming ‘microtumours’. Foci transformation can be discerned easily and are used in the assay of oncogenic viruses, such as the Rous sarcoma virus.

  • Both RNA and DNA viruses are oncogenic.
    • All oncogenic RNA viruses belongs to a single family : retrovirus.
    • Retroviruses are responsible for naturally occurring leukemia and sarcoma in several species of animals.
    • Among DNA viruses, some herpesviruses and hepadnaviruses cause malignant tumours in their natural hosts.

One thought on “what are oncogenic Viruses? And oncogenic DNA & RNA viruses.”

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