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Toxicol Lett. 1993 Apr;67(1-3):201-10.

Oncogene activation: c-raf-1 gene mutations in experimental and naturally occurring tumors.

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Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, MD.


We demonstrate here consistent point mutations of the c-raf-1 proto-oncogene, within a small region of the kinase domain, in a mouse model for chemical tumor induction. This is the first demonstration of point mutated raf genes in vivo, and the first isolation of activating in vivo point mutations in the kinase domain of a proto-oncogene. The specific region where these mutations are clustered also has biological significance. This is precisely the region where 5/5 independently generated monoclonal antibodies raised against Raf-1 map to [29], and predictions based upon the crystal structure of A kinase identify this as the substrate pocket. The tumors examined show a selective specificity for Raf-1 mutations in that another family of genes, the ras proto-oncogenes which are frequently activated by point mutation in both animal and human tumors [15-21,26], is not involved. Our consistent finding of Raf-1 mutations in a mouse tumor model also has consequences for further evaluation of the role of Raf-1 in human tumor development, as it emphasizes the need to examine c-raf-1 at the sequence level. In fact preliminary screening of human lung tumors indicates point mutations at amino acid 533 (John Lyons, personal communication). Finally, the cumulative data on the critical role of Raf-1 in signal transduction and the occurrence of oncogenic Raf-1 in tumors [32-41] highlight this enzyme as an attractive target for development of novel anticancer regimens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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