Author(s): Wang Y, Velho S, Vakiani E, Peng S, Bass AJ,
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Abstract N-RAS is one member of a family of oncoproteins that are commonly mutated in cancer. Activating mutations in NRAS occur in a subset of colorectal cancers, but little is known about how the mutant protein contributes to the onset and progression of the disease. Using genetically engineered mice, we find that mutant N-RAS strongly promotes tumorigenesis in the context of inflammation. The protumorigenic nature of mutant N-RAS is related to its antiapoptotic function, which is mediated by activation of a noncanonical mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway that signals through STAT3. As a result, inhibition of MAP-ERK kinase selectively induces apoptosis in autochthonous colonic tumors expressing mutant N-RAS. The translational significance of this finding is highlighted by our observation that NRAS mutation correlates with a less favorable clinical outcome for patients with colorectal cancer. These data show for the first time the important role that N-RAS plays in colorectal cancer.
This article was published in Cancer Discov
and referenced in Journal of Carcinogenesis & Mutagenesis