Ras proteins play a crucial role as a central component of the cellular networks controlling a variety of signaling pathways that regulate growth, proliferation, survival, differentiation, adhesion, cytoskeletal rearrangements and motility of a cell. Almost, 4 decades passed since Ras research was started and ras genes were originally discovered as retroviral oncogenes. Later on, mutations of the human RAS genes were linked to tumorigenesis. Genetic analyses found that RAS is one of the most deregulated oncogenes in human cancers. In this review, we summarize the pioneering works which allowed the discovery of RAS oncogenes, the finding of frequent mutations of RAS in various human cancers, the role of these mutations in tumorigenesis and mutation-activated signaling networks. We further describe the importance of RAS mutations in personalized or precision medicine particularly in molecular targeted therapy, as well as their use as diagnostic and prognostic markers as therapeutic determinants in human cancers.
Keywords: Cancer; HRAS; KRAS; Mutation; NRAS; Oncogene; Personalized medicine; Precision medicine.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.