Mutational analysis of the N-ras gene in acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a study of 125 Japanese pediatric cases

Int J Hematol. 1998 Jun;67(4):379-87. doi: 10.1016/s0925-5710(98)00015-2.


A point mutation of the N-ras gene is one of the known genetic alterations identified in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), but its clinical importance is still controversial. Using polymerase chain reactions, we examined codons 12, 13 and 61 of this gene in 125 Japanese childhood ALL patients (64 common-ALL, 22 pre-B-ALL, 33 T-ALL, 2 B-ALL, 3 undifferentiated ALL, and 1 unclassified ALL) including 9 relapsed patients. An N-ras point mutation was observed in 14 (11%) patients (9 common-ALL, 3 T-ALL, and 2 undifferentiated ALL; 13 patients at diagnosis and 1 at relapse). The patients with undifferentiated ALL harbored an N-ras mutation at a significantly higher rate. However, no correlation was found between the presence of an N-ras mutation and sex, age, or white blood count. There was no significant difference in the event-free survival rate between 13 fresh patients with an N-ras mutation and 103 patients with a wild-type configuration. The N-ras mutation was present in about 10% of childhood ALL cases but it did not have a prognostic impact. The sequence analyses revealed that the majority of the patients (13/14) had an N-ras mutation of a G to A transition. This finding was consistent with previous reports on N-ras mutations in acute leukemias in which the incidence of a G to A mutation was significantly higher in ALL than in myeloid malignancies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Codon / genetics
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Genes, ras*
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Risk Factors


  • Codon
  • DNA, Neoplasm