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Caretakers and Gatekeepers

  1. Antonio Russo1,
  2. Manuela Migliavacca1,
  3. Ines Zanna1,
  4. Marcella Macaluso2,
  5. Nicola Gebbia1,
  6. Viviana Bazan1

Published Online: 27 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0006048



How to Cite

Russo, A., Migliavacca, M., Zanna, I., Macaluso, M., Gebbia, N. and Bazan, V. 2006. Caretakers and Gatekeepers. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

  2. 2

    Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2006


It has now been generally accepted that the genes responsible for familial cancer syndromes can be divided into two categories, known as caretakers and gatekeepers. Caretakers are genes that control the maintenance of the genetic information integrity in each cell while gatekeepers are those genes which directly regulate tumor growth, codifying for proteins which either stimulate or inhibit proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis.


  • gatekeeper genes;
  • caretaker genes;
  • tumor suppressor genes;
  • cell cycle;
  • hereditary syndromes