BRAF mutations characterize colon but not gastric cancer with mismatch repair deficiency

Oncogene. 2003 Dec 11;22(57):9192-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1207061.


Genes from the RAF family are Ras-regulated kinases involved in growth cellular responses. Recently, a V599E hotspot mutation within the BRAF gene was reported in a high percentage of colorectal tumors and significantly associated to defective mismatch repair (MMR). Additionally, BRAF mutations were described only in K-Ras-negative colon carcinomas, suggesting that BRAF/K-Ras activating mutations might be alternative genetic events in colon cancer. We have addressed to what extent the tumorigenic-positive selection exerted by BRAF mutations seen in colorectal MMR-deficient tumors was also involved in the tumorigenesis of gastric cancer. Accordingly, BRAF mutations were detected in 34% (25/74) of colorectal MMR-deficient tumors and in 5% (7/142) of MMR-proficient colorectal cases (P=0.0001). All mutations found in the MSI cases corresponded to the previously reported hotspot V599E. Two D593K and a K600E additional mutations were also detected in three MSS cases. However, only one mutation of BRAF was found within 124 MSS gastric tumors and none in 37 MSI gastric tumors, clearly suggesting that BRAF mutations are not involved in gastric tumorigenesis. Nonetheless, a high incidence of mutations of K-Ras was found within the MSI gastric group of tumors (P=0.0005), suggesting that the activation of K-Ras-dependent pathways contributes to the tumorigenesis of gastric cancers with MMR deficiency. Accordingly, our results show evidences that BRAF mutations characterize colon but not gastric tumors with MMR deficiency and are not involved in the tumorigenesis of gastric cancer of the mutator phenotype pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Humans
  • Mutation, Missense*
  • Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • Stomach Neoplasms / genetics*


  • Genetic Markers
  • Oncogene Proteins
  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf