Current concepts in RET-related genetics, signaling and therapeutics

Trends Genet. 2006 Nov;22(11):627-36. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2006.09.005. Epub 2006 Sep 18.


The receptor tyrosine kinase RET is expressed in cell lineages derived from the neural crest and has a key role in regulating cell proliferation, migration, differentiation and survival during embryogenesis. Germline and somatic mutations in RET that produce constitutively activated receptors cause the cancer syndrome multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 and several endocrine and neural-crest-derived tumors, whereas mutations resulting in nonfunctional RET or lower expression of RET are found in individuals affected with Hirschsprung disease. This review focuses on the genetics and molecular mechanisms underlying the different inherited human neural-crest-related disorders in which RET dysfunction has a crucial role and discusses RET as a potential therapeutic target.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Haplotypes
  • Hirschsprung Disease / genetics*
  • Hirschsprung Disease / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2a / genetics*
  • Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2a / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • RET protein, human