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Cancer Res. 2007 Aug 1;67(15):7139-46.

Oncogenic NRAS, KRAS, and HRAS exhibit different leukemogenic potentials in mice.

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Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02454, USA.


RAS proteins are small GTPases that play a central role in transducing signals that regulate cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation. The RAS proteins interact with a common set of activators and effectors; however, they associate with different microdomains of the plasma membrane as well as other endomembranes and are capable of generating distinct signal outputs. Mutations that result in constitutive activation of RAS proteins are associated with approximately 30% of all human cancers; however, different RAS oncogenes are preferentially associated with different types of human cancer. In myeloid malignancies, NRAS mutations are more frequent than KRAS mutations, whereas HRAS mutations are rare. The mechanism underlying the different frequencies of RAS isoforms mutated in myeloid leukemia is not known. In this study, we compared the leukemogenic potential of activated NRAS, KRAS, and HRAS in the same bone marrow transduction/transplantation model system. We found that all three RAS oncogenes have the ability to induce myeloid leukemias, yet have distinct leukemogenic strengths and phenotypes. The models established here provide a system for further studying the molecular mechanisms in the pathogenesis of myeloid malignancies and for testing targeted therapies.

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