Selfish cells in altruistic cell society - a theoretical oncology.


In multicellular organisms, internal evolution of individual cells is strictly forbidden and 'evolutional' DNA replication should be performed only by the sexual reproduction system. Wholistic negative control system called 'homeostasis' serves all service to germ line cells. All somatic cells are altruistic to the germ line cells. However, in malignant tumors, it seems that individual cells replicate and behave 'selfishly' and evolve against the internal microenvironment. Tumor cells only express the occult selfishness which is programmed in normal cells a priori. This phenomenon is based on the failure of identical DNA replication, and results in 'autonomy' and 'anomie' of cellular society as shown in tumor cells. Genetic programs of normal cells connote this cellular autonomy and anomie introduced by the deletion of regulators on structure genes. It is rather paradoxical that the somatic cells get their freedom from wholistic negative regulation programmed internally. However, this is not a true paradox, since multicellular organisms have clearly been evolved from 'monads' in which cells proliferate without wholistic regulation. Somatic cells revolt against germ cell DNA, called 'selfish replicator' by Dawkins. It is an inevitable destiny that the 'selfishness' coded in genome should be revenged by itself. Selfish replicator in germ cell line should be revolted by its selfishness in the expansion of somatic cells, since they have an orthogenesis to get more selfishness in order to increase their genome. Tumor heterogeneity and progression can be fully explained by this self-contradictory process which produces heterogeneous gene copies different from the original clone in the tumor, although 'selfish' gene replication is the final target of being. Furthermore, we have to discard the concept of clonality of tumor cells since genetic instability is a fundamental feature of tumors. Finally, tumor cells and proto-oncogenes can be considered as the ultimate parasite to germ line cells.

Cite this paper

@article{Chigira1993SelfishCI, title={Selfish cells in altruistic cell society - a theoretical oncology.}, author={Masaki Chigira}, journal={International journal of oncology}, year={1993}, volume={3 3}, pages={441-55} }