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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2006 Jun;25(2):235-42.

Frequent involvement of ras-signalling pathways in both polypoid-type and flat-type early-stage colorectal cancers.

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Department of Molecular Diagnosis, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan.


The development of colorectal neoplasms proceeds mainly via the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. BRAF and RASSF1A are members of Ras-signaling pathways, but the roles of their aberrations in colorectal carcinogenesis remain unclear. The authors studied mutations of the BRAF and K-ras genes, RASSF1A promoter methylation, and p53 overexpression in 43 polypoid-type and 30 flat-type early-stage colorectal cancers. No tumor simultaneously showed any combination of K-ras mutations, BRAF mutations, and RASSF1A promoter methylation. Three of the 73 tumors (4.1%) had BRAF mutations. All BRAF mutation-positive tumors were flat-type cancers, not associated with coexisting adenoma or p53 overexpression. RASSF1A promoter methylation was detected in 12 out of 73 tumors (16.4%), and the proportion of positive cases was similar in polypoid-type and flat-type cancers. BRAF mutations, K-ras mutations, and RASSF1A promoter methylation independently participate in early-stage colorectal carcinogenesis. BRAF mutations are involved only in flat-type cancers, whereas RASSF1A promoter methylation is involved in both polypoid-type and flat-type cancers. Thus, BRAF mutations most likely participate in de novo colorectal carcinogenesis, K-ras mutations in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence of colorectal carcinogenesis, and RASSF1A promoter methylation in both cascades.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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