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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Expression of normal and mutant ras proteins in human acute leukemia.

The expression of normal and mutant ras genes in human acute leukemias was assessed by the direct analysis of p21ras polypeptides, using immunoprecipitation with monoclonal antibodies. High-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis permits the identification of a wide array of activated ras alleles encoding proteins with single amino acid substitutions at any of several positions. The products of three ras genes, H-ras, N-ras, and K-ras, were detected in each of 33 specimens of fresh leukemic cells. The normal K-ras and N-ras polypeptides were substantially more abundant than H-ras p21 in all samples. In over three-fourths of the cases the total amount of p21ras exceeded that seen in control hematopoietic cell lines. The level of ras expression did not correlate simply with clinical parameters, although the two samples with the most abundant p21ras were obtained from patients with relapsed T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Abnormal p21ras, consistent with oncogenic activation, was found in eight patients. Six of 11 samples from acute myelocytic leukemia (AML) patients displayed a mutant N-ras p21, while only one of 20 ALL specimens had abnormal N-ras, and one had a mutant H-ras. In every case the mutant protein comprised a minority of total p21ras. In two T-cell ALL cell lines both normal and activated N-ras gene products were expressed at equal levels. By contrast, in five fresh AML samples the abnormal N-ras protein was several-fold less abundant than the normal N-ras p21. This finding implies that only a proportion of leukemic cells in an individual patient may carry the mutant ras oncogene.[1]


  1. Expression of normal and mutant ras proteins in human acute leukemia. Shen, W.P., Aldrich, T.H., Venta-Perez, G., Franza, B.R., Furth, M.E. Oncogene (1987) [Pubmed]
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