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Oncogene. 1992 Oct;7(10):2073-6.

Overexpression of the N-ras proto-oncogene, not somatic mutational activation, associated with malignant tumors in transgenic mice.

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Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.


We have produced transgenic mice that carry a foreign gene construct consisting of the N-ras proto-oncogene driven by the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) long terminal repeat. Overexpression of the normal N-ras gene is associated with development of hyperplasias and tumors in a variety of tissues. The tumors are clearly malignant, as evidenced by the presence of metastatic lesions. Extensive analysis of the foreign ras gene in these tumors by use of polymerase chain reaction and sequencing demonstrates in all cases the absence of somatically acquired mutations at those codons normally associated with activation of the ras genes. Thus, these tumors develop from overexpression of the proto-oncogene rather than the presence of the mutated oncogene. These data demonstrate that overexpression of a protooncogene of the ras family can predispose cells in vivo to fully malignant behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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