H-ras and K-ras gene mutations in primary human soft tissue sarcoma: concomitant mutations of the ras genes

Mod Pathol. 1999 Aug;12(8):775-80.


ras gene mutations have been described with varying frequency in several types of human malignancies. To determine the incidence and type of ras mutations in human soft tissue tumors, we studied 45 sarcomas, including 27 malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFHs), 10 liposarcomas, 2 rhabdomyosarcomas, and 6 leiomyosarcomas. Al of the tumors were investigated by direct sequence analysis with the automated DNA sequencing of polymerase chain reaction-amplified ras sequences. Twenty (44%) of the sarcomas examined harbored K-ras mutations, 18 (90%) of which were MFHs. All of the K-ras mutations were G-to-A transition mutations in the second position of codon 13 (glycine --> aspartic acid). Of the samples with K-ras activation, 7 (16% of the total of 45 tumors), including 6 MFHs and 1 leiomyosarcoma, also contained H-ras mutation. All of the tumors that showed H-ras alteration had G-to-T transversion mutations in the second base of codon 12 (glycine --> valine). These data possibly implicate that ras gene activation may be a relatively uncommon event in soft tissue tumors, with the exception of MFH. It is suggested that the oncogenic process underlying the development of tumors between these groups may be different and that ras gene mutations may play a role in the etiology and/or progression of MFH. It is noteworthy that when ras gene activation occurs in sarcoma, it predominantly affects the K-ras gene, particularly codon 13. Moreover, H-ras mutations in our samples were detected only in association with tumors that also displayed K-ras-mutated genes. This study demonstrates for the first time concomitant mutations in two different members of the ras gene family in sarcoma

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genes, ras*
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sarcoma / genetics*