Detection of two novel mutations and relatively high incidence of H-RAS mutations in Vietnamese oral cancer

Oral Oncol. 2009 Oct;45(10):e161-6. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2009.05.638. Epub 2009 Jul 22.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the sixth most common cancer in the world and the seventh most common cancer in Vietnam. The RAS and PI3K-AKT signaling pathways play an important role in oral carcinogenesis. Our previous study on PI3K signaling pathway showed the absence of PIK3CA and PTEN gene mutations in Vietnamese oral cancer. We thus hypothesized that the RAS could be more likely activated as an upstream effector. However, the status of RAS mutations in Vietnamese oral cancer had not been studied. In the present study, Fifty six primary tumor DNA samples were screened for mutations of hot spots in exons 1 and 2 of H-RAS and a part of the samples for exon 7 of ERK2 gene in which we previously reported a mutation in an OSCC cell line. The H-RAS mutations were detected in 10 of 56 tumors (18%). Two novel mutations were found, one was an insertion of three nucleotides (GGC) between codons 10 and 11 resulting in in-frame insertion of glycine (10(Gly)11) and the other was a missense mutation in codon 62 (GAG>GGG). We also found T81C single nucleotide polymorphism in 12 of 56 tumors (22%) and there was no mutation in exon 7 of ERK2 gene. The H-RAS mutation incidence showed significant association with advanced stages of the tumor and also with well-differentiated tumor grade. Our study is the first to report H-RAS mutation from Vietnamese ethnicity, with two novel mutations and relatively high incidence of H-RAS mutations. The results suggest that RAS is an important member in the PI3K-AKT signaling and could play an important role in the tumorigenesis of oral carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics*
  • Codon
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / genetics
  • Mouth Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Mutation, Missense / genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk Factors
  • Vietnam


  • Codon
  • MAPK1 protein, human
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1