K-ras and p53 mutations in human colorectal aberrant crypt foci

J Pathol. 1996 Mar;178(3):259-63. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9896(199603)178:3<259::AID-PATH473>3.0.CO;2-4.


Aberrant crypt foci (ACF) are putative precursor lesions of colon cancer, recently identified on the methylene blue-stained mucosal surface of human colon. No mutations in K-ras or p53 genes were found by non-radioactive single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis in 14 ACF collected from five patients. Using the more sensitive method of allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for K-ras, 8 of 14 ACF were found to contain K-ras mutations, suggesting that mutated cells are present in minute clones in ACF. No dysplasia was observed in any of the ACF containing a mutated clone. The presence of K-ras mutations in ACF suggests that these lesions occur at a very early stage in human colorectal carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colon / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Genes, p53*
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Precancerous Conditions / genetics*
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology