tumour promoter

tumour promoter
Agent that in classical studies of carcinogenesis in rodent skin was able to increase the sensitivity of tumour formation by a previously applied primary carcinogen, but was unable to induce tumours when used alone. Important example was croton oil, active ingredients of which are now believed to be phorbol esters. These are believed to act as analogues of diacylglycerols, and may activate protein kinase C. Strictly speaking, not the same as a co-carcinogen, which is defined as being active when administered at the same time. Tumour promoters generally are carcinogens when tested more stringently.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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