Activation of c-K-ras mutations in human gastrointestinal tumors

Gastroenterology. 2000 Jun;118(6):1045-50. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(00)70357-x.


Background & aims: Ras genes are the most frequently detected oncogenes in human malignancies. Data regarding the frequency of c-K-ras mutations in esophageal, gastric, and small bowel tumors are limited and controversial.

Methods: DNA was extracted from 262 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of gastrointestinal samples and tumors, including Barrett's esophagus, esophageal squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas, and small and large bowel adenomas and adenocarcinomas. The presence of c-K-ras codon 12 mutations was determined using a nonradioactive polymerase chain reaction-based restriction fragment length polymorphism assay.

Results: c-K-ras mutations were detected in 1 of 39 (2%) patients with Barrett's esophagus, 1 of 21 (5%) adenocarcinomas, 0 of 27 squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus, and 1 of 32 (3%) gastric adenocarcinomas. It was also present in 8 of 20 (40%) and 10 of 28 (36%) small bowel adenomas and adenocarcinomas, respectively. Similar numbers were observed in 10 of 25 (40%) large bowel adenomas and 11 of 30 adenocarcinomas (37%). Mutations were not associated with age, gender, histology, grade, stage, location, or mortality.

Conclusions: The frequency of codon 12 c-K-ras mutations in small and large bowel tumors is approximately 10-fold higher than that of tumors in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Alleles
  • Barrett Esophagus / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Israel
  • New York City
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics