Dear tumor suppressor gene

Tumor suppressor genes code for proteins which protect cellsĀ from one step on the path to cancer. These proteins can sense DNA damage and prevent cell division in order not to pass on the damage to the daughter cells. Tumor suppressors have damping effects on the cell cycle and can promote cell death (apoptosis). One of the most important tumor suppressors is called p53, also known as “the guardian of the genome”. P53 has been nominated as the molecule of the year in 1993 by the journal Science. However, I felt it’s time to acknowledge these guardians with a little poem:

Dear tumor suppressor gene,

I guess we can’t thank you enough
for protecting us when times get rough
for keeping growth under control
when cell cycle goes rock ‘n’ roll

If our genome has a nick
you immediately put a stick
between the wheels of proliferation
so cell cycle can’t reach its final destination

Your nemesis named oncogene
is always waiting behind the scene
to make cell cycle go wild and crazy
but you are prepared and never lazy

After swords have been crossed
and the fight is over and lost
You bring some decent roses
to the cell’s funeral: the apoptosis.