B-raf and Ha-ras mutations in chemically induced mouse liver tumors

Oncogene. 2005 Feb 10;24(7):1290-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208265.


The mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling pathway is a central regulator of tumor growth, which is constitutively activated in chemically induced mouse liver tumors. In about 30-50% of cases this effect can be related to activation of the Ha-ras gene by point mutations, whereas in the remaining cases mutations may occur in other members within this pathway, such as Raf kinases. Recently, B-raf has been shown to be frequently mutated in human melanomas and certain other cancers, with a V599E amino-acid change representing the most predominant mutation type. We now screened 82 N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver tumors from C3H/He mice for mutations within the hotspot positions in the Ha-ras and B-raf genes. About 50% (39/82) of tumors showed Ha-ras codon 61 mutations and 16 tumors ( approximately 20%) harbored mutations at codon 624 of the B-raf gene, which corresponds to codon 599 in human B-raf. None of the tumors was mutated in both Ha-ras and B-raf. The high prevalence of Ha-ras and B-raf mutations in mouse liver tumors is in striking contrast to human hepatocellular cancers which very infrequently harbor mutations in the two genes. These fundamental differences between the biology of liver tumors in mice and man may be of toxicological relevance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Mice / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Point Mutation / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Diethylnitrosamine
  • Braf protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf