Mutations in BRAF and KRAS characterize the development of low-grade ovarian serous carcinoma

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Mar 19;95(6):484-6. doi: 10.1093/jnci/95.6.484.


Activating mutations in KRAS and in one of its downstream mediators, BRAF, have been identified in a variety of human cancers. To determine the role of mutations in BRAF and KRAS in ovarian carcinoma, we analyzed both genes for three common mutations (at codon 599 of BRAF and codons 12 and 13 of KRAS). Mutations in either codon 599 of BRAF or codons 12 and 13 of KRAS occurred in 15 of 22 (68%) invasive micropapillary serous carcinomas (MPSCs; low-grade tumors) and in 31 of 51 (61%) serous borderline tumors (precursor lesions to invasive MPSCs). None of the tumors contained a mutation in both BRAF and KRAS. In contrast, none of the 72 conventional aggressive high-grade serous carcinomas analyzed contained the BRAF codon 599 mutation or either of the two KRAS mutations. The apparent restriction of these BRAF and KRAS mutations to low-grade serous ovarian carcinoma and its precursors suggests that low-grade and high-grade ovarian serous carcinomas develop through independent pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Codon
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / genetics*
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Female
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / genetics*


  • Codon
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf