Human cutaneous melanoma; a review of NRAS and BRAF mutation frequencies in relation to histogenetic subclass and body site

Mol Oncol. 2008 Apr;1(4):395-405. doi: 10.1016/j.molonc.2007.12.003. Epub 2007 Dec 28.


A majority of cutaneous melanomas show activating mutations in the NRAS or BRAF proto-oncogenes, components of the Ras-Raf-Mek-Erk signal transduction pathway. Consistent data demonstrate the early appearance, in a mutually exclusive manner, of these mutations. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the literature on NRAS and BRAF activating mutations in melanoma tumors with respect to available data on histogenetic classification as well as body site and presumed UV-exposure. Common alterations of the signal transducing network seem to represent molecular hallmarks of cutaneous melanomas and therefore should continue to strongly stimulate design and testing of targeted molecular interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Genes, ras / radiation effects
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / classification
  • Melanoma / genetics*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / radiation effects
  • Signal Transduction
  • Skin Neoplasms / classification
  • Skin Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • ras Proteins / genetics


  • BRAF protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf
  • ras Proteins