Pseudogenes: Newly Discovered Players in Human Cancer

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Sci. Signal.  18 Sep 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 242, pp. re5
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002858

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Pseudogenes are similar to coding genes but contain defects that render them unable to encode fully functional proteins. Mistakenly considered nonfunctional, pseudogenes have long been dismissed as “junk DNA.” In this Review, I summarize advances in the understanding of the functions of pseudogenes that have established them as versatile regulators of gene expression and key players in the pathogenesis of human cancer.