The incessant interactions between susceptible humans and their respective macro/microenvironments registered throughout their lifetime result in the ultimate manifestation of individual cancers. With the average lifespan exceeding 50 years of age in humans since the beginning of 20th century, aging - the "time"factor - has played an ever-increasing role alongside host and environmental factors in cancer incidences. Cancer is a genetic/epigenetic disease due to gain-of-function mutations in cancer-causing genes (oncogene; OG) and/or loss-of-function mutations in tumorsuppressing genes (tumor suppressor genes; TSG). In addition to their integral relationship with cancer, a timely deployment of specific OG and/or TSG is in fact needed for higher organisms like human to cope with respective physiological and pathological conditions. Over the past decade, extensive human kidney cancer genomics have been performed and novel mouse models recapitulating human kidney cancer pathobiology have been generated. With new genomic, genetic, mechanistic, clinical and therapeutic insights accumulated from studying clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC)-the most common type of kidney cancer, we conceived a cancer evolution model built upon the OGTSG signaling pair analogous to the electrical circuit breaker (CB) that permits necessary signaling output and at the same time prevent detrimental signaling overdrive. Hence, this viewpoint aims at providing a step-by-step mechanistic explanation/illustration concerning how inherent OG-TSG CBs intricately operate in concert for the organism's wellbeing; and how somatic mutations, the essential component for genetic adaptability, inadvertently triggers a sequential outage of specific sets of CBs that normally function to maintain and protect and individual tissue homeostasis.
- Circuit breaker
- Kidney cancer evolution