In this article we will discuss about the diversity of retroviral oncogenes.
Studies of other retroviruses of several different animal species (most notably the mouse, rat, chicken, and certain species of monkeys) soon led to the identification of other retroviral oncogenes.
Over 20 different retroviral oncogene (Table 16.2) have been described to date, and more undoubtedly remain to be discovered. However, recent studies have shown that different retroviruses that induce similar types of cancers often carry the same or a closely related oncogene.
Thus, there may be only a relatively small number of unique retroviral oncogenes yet to be discovered. In total, including oncogenes of DNA viruses and of cellular origin, over 40 distinct genes have been identified that fit the definition of an oncogene.
However, more information is available for the retroviral oncogenes and the related oncogenes of cellular origin, thus the discussion that follows in this article will be restricted to retroviral oncogenes and their homologs