Gene Summary

Gene:HRAS; HRas proto-oncogene, GTPase
Aliases: CTLO, KRAS, HAMSV, HRAS1, KRAS2, RASH1, RASK2, Ki-Ras, p21ras, C-H-RAS, c-K-ras, H-RASIDX, c-Ki-ras, C-BAS/HAS, C-HA-RAS1
Summary:This gene belongs to the Ras oncogene family, whose members are related to the transforming genes of mammalian sarcoma retroviruses. The products encoded by these genes function in signal transduction pathways. These proteins can bind GTP and GDP, and they have intrinsic GTPase activity. This protein undergoes a continuous cycle of de- and re-palmitoylation, which regulates its rapid exchange between the plasma membrane and the Golgi apparatus. Mutations in this gene cause Costello syndrome, a disease characterized by increased growth at the prenatal stage, growth deficiency at the postnatal stage, predisposition to tumor formation, cognitive disability, skin and musculoskeletal abnormalities, distinctive facial appearance and cardiovascular abnormalities. Defects in this gene are implicated in a variety of cancers, including bladder cancer, follicular thyroid cancer, and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Multiple transcript variants, which encode different isoforms, have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:GTPase HRas
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (51)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Breast Cancer
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms
  • RAS Genes
  • Risk Factors
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • ras Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Phenotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Mutation
  • HRAS
  • DNA Copy Number Variations
  • Skin Cancer
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Xanthomatosis
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases
  • Workflow
  • Signal Transduction
  • Telomerase
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Costello Syndrome
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Class I Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Chromosome 11
  • DNA Sequence Analysis
  • Vemurafenib
  • Trisomy
  • Melanoma
  • Eye Cancer
  • Adolescents
  • Survival Rate
  • Papillary Carcinoma
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Drug Resistance
  • Staging
  • Cell Proliferation
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Thyroid CancerHRAS and Thyroid Cancer View Publications122
Skin CancerHRAS and Skin Cancer View Publications114
Breast CancerHRAS and Breast Cancer View Publications84
Costello SyndromeHRAS germline mutation in Costello Syndrome
Costello Syndrome is a rare congenital disorder with multiple anomalies; characterised by dysmorphic craniofacial features, musculoskeletal abnormalities, neurocognitive delay, and increased risk of cancers including rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, childhood onset bladder carcinoma.
View Publications72
MelanomaHRAS and Melanoma View Publications61
-HRAS and Sweat Gland Neoplasms View Publications5
Eye CancerHRAS and Uveal Neoplasms View Publications2

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: HRAS (cancer-related)

Sun S, Hu Z, Huang S, et al.
REG4 is an indicator for KRAS mutant lung adenocarcinoma with TTF-1 low expression.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(9):2273-2283 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Recent research has classified lung adenocarcinoma patients with KRAS mutation into three subtypes by co-occurring genetic events in TP53 (KP subgroup), STK11/LKB1 (KL subgroup) and CDKN2A/B inactivation plus TTF-1 low expression (KC subgroup). The aim of this study was to identify valuable biomarkers by searching the candidate molecules that contribute to lung adenocarcinoma pathogenesis, especially KC subtype.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed the publicly available database and identified the candidate REG4 using the E-GEOD-31210 dataset, and then confirmed by TCGA dataset. In addition, an independent cohort of 55 clinical samples was analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR analysis. Functional studies and RNA sequencing were performed after silencing the REG4 expression.
RESULTS: REG4, an important regulator of gastro-intestinal carcinogenesis, was highly expressed in KRAS mutant lung adenocarcinoma with low expression of TTF-1 (KC subtype). The results were validated both by gene expression analysis and immunohistochemistry study in an independent 55 clinical samples from Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center. Further in vitro and in vivo functional assays revealed silencing REG4 expression significantly reduces cancer cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Moreover, RNA sequencing and GSEA analysis displayed that REG4 knockdown might induce cell cycle arrest by regulating G2/M checkpoint and E2F targets.
CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that REG4 plays an important role in KRAS-driven lung cancer pathogenesis and is a novel biomarker of lung adenocarcinoma subtype. Future studies are required to clarify the underlying mechanisms of REG4 in the division and proliferation of KC tumors and its potential therapeutic value.

Shao K, Wang Y, Xue Q, et al.
Clinicopathological features and prognosis of ciliated muconodular papillary tumor.
J Cardiothorac Surg. 2019; 14(1):143 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUNDS: The pulmonary ciliated muconodular papillary tumor (CMPT) is a very rare tumor with only several case reports in published literatures, and its clinicopathological features, standard treatment methods and prognosis has not been well defined.
METHODS: Two cases of CMPT diagnosed and treated in our hospital and 39 cases reported in the published literature were analyzed retrospectively.
RESULTS: The cohort of 41 CMPT patients comprised of 20 males and 21 females, aged 9-84 years. The diameter of the primary tumor was 0.3-4.5 cm. Most of these lesions were subsolid nodules, as observed on computed tomography and easily misdiagnosed as early lung adenocarcinoma. Tumors of 26 patients were stained by immunohistochemistry method, which revealed that CK7, CEA, and TTF-1 were positive and CK20 was negative in most patients. The results of gene alternation demonstrated mutations in EGFR, KRAS, and BRAF and ALK rearrangements in CMPT. All the patients underwent surgical treatment and did not receive postoperative adjuvant therapy. The follow-up duration was 0-120 months, and no case of tumor recurrence was found until the final follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of CMPT was low and rate of image misdiagnosis high. Immunohistochemistry is helpful for accurate diagnosis of CMPT. Sub-lobectomy may be proper and adjuvant treatment should be avoided since the disease is now prone to benign lesions. Furthermore, since the biological behavior of this tumor is not yet fully elucidated, additional case data are essential for accurate conclusions.

Naghizadeh S, Mohammadi A, Baradaran B, Mansoori B
Overcoming multiple drug resistance in lung cancer using siRNA targeted therapy.
Gene. 2019; 714:143972 [PubMed] Related Publications
Among cancers, lung cancer is the most morbidity and mortality disease that is remaining the fatalist. Generally, there are multiple treatment procedures for lung cancer, such as surgery, immunotherapy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There is, therefore, an urgent need for more specified and efficient methods for treatment of lung cancer such as RNAi, which in combination with traditional therapies could silence genes that are involved in the drug resistance. These genes may either be motivators of apoptosis inhibition, EMT and DNA repair system promoters or a member of intracellular signaling pathways, such as JAK/STAT, RAS/RAF/MEK, PI3K/AKT, NICD, B-catenin/TCF/LEF and their stimulator receptors including IGFR, EGFR, FGFR, VEGFR, CXCR4, MET, INTEGRINS, NOTCH1 and FRIZZLED, so could be considered as appropriate targets. In current review, the results of multiple studies which have employed drug application after one specific gene silencing or more than one gene from distinct pathways also simultaneous drug and RNAi usage in vitro and in vivo in lung cancer were summarized.

Mehta A, Dalle Vedove E, Isert L, Merkel OM
Targeting KRAS Mutant Lung Cancer Cells with siRNA-Loaded Bovine Serum Albumin Nanoparticles.
Pharm Res. 2019; 36(9):133 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: KRAS is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. Despite its direct involvement in malignancy and intensive effort, direct inhibition of KRAS via pharmacological inhibitors has been challenging. RNAi induced knockdown using siRNAs against mutant KRAS alleles offers a promising tool for selective therapeutic silencing in KRAS-mutant lung cancers. However, the major bottleneck for clinical translation is the lack of efficient biocompatible siRNA carrier systems.
METHODS: Bovine serum albumin (BSA) nanoparticles were prepared by desolvation method to deliver siRNA targeting the KRAS G12S mutation. The BSA nanoparticles were characterized with respect to their size, zeta potential, encapsulation efficiency and nucleic acid release. Nanoparticle uptake, cellular distribution of nucleic acids, cytotoxicity and gene knock down to interfere with cancer hallmarks, uncontrolled proliferation and migration, were evaluated in KRAS G12S mutant A459 cells, a lung adenocarcinoma cell line.
RESULTS: BSA nanoparticles loaded with siRNA resulted in nanoparticles smaller than 200 nm in diameter and negative zeta potentials, displaying optimal characteristics for in vivo application. Encapsulating and protecting the siRNA payload well, the nanoparticles enabled transport to A549 cells in vitro, could evade endosomal entrapment and mediated significant sequence-specific KRAS knockdown, resulting in reduced cell growth of siRNA transfected lung cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: BSA nanoparticles loaded with mutant specific siRNA are a promising therapeutic approach for KRAS-mutant cancers.

Yoo SK, Song YS, Lee EK, et al.
Integrative analysis of genomic and transcriptomic characteristics associated with progression of aggressive thyroid cancer.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2764 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) and advanced differentiated thyroid cancers (DTCs) show fatal outcomes, unlike DTCs. Here, we demonstrate mutational landscape of 27 ATCs and 86 advanced DTCs by massively-parallel DNA sequencing, and transcriptome of 13 ATCs and 12 advanced DTCs were profiled by RNA sequencing. TERT, AKT1, PIK3CA, and EIF1AX were frequently co-mutated with driver genes (BRAF

Lin MH, Wang JS, Hsieh YC, et al.
Chem Biol Interact. 2019; 309:108708 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colon cancer is one of the most lethal cancers worldwide even with the significant progress made in screening techniques and therapeutic agents. Genetic mutations in tumors complicated the treatments, and the survival rate remains low for patients at late or metastatic stages. KRAS gene mutation which leads to failure of the EGFR targeted therapies stands for an example of the challenges in clinical sites. Therefore, development of novel agents for colon cancer treatment is in need. Natural and synthetic coumarin derivatives have been suggested with various biological activities with pharmacologic potential including anti-cancer capacity. Here in this study, five coumarin derivatives, include trifluoromethyl-, dimethoxy-, and/or nitro-substitutions at different positions, were synthesized. Their cancer inhibition potential was investigated in various cancer cell lines. Our data demonstrated that one nitro-coumarin derivate, 5,7-Dimethoxy-4-methyl-6-nitro-chromen-2-one, exhibits cytotoxicity specifically towards colon cancer cells under competitive EC

Sharma Y, Miladi M, Dukare S, et al.
A pan-cancer analysis of synonymous mutations.
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2569 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synonymous mutations have been viewed as silent mutations, since they only affect the DNA and mRNA, but not the amino acid sequence of the resulting protein. Nonetheless, recent studies suggest their significant impact on splicing, RNA stability, RNA folding, translation or co-translational protein folding. Hence, we compile 659194 synonymous mutations found in human cancer and characterize their properties. We provide the user-friendly, comprehensive resource for synonymous mutations in cancer, SynMICdb ( ), which also contains orthogonal information about gene annotation, recurrence, mutation loads, cancer association, conservation, alternative events, impact on mRNA structure and a SynMICdb score. Notably, synonymous and missense mutations are depleted at the 5'-end of the coding sequence as well as at the ends of internal exons independent of mutational signatures. For patient-derived synonymous mutations in the oncogene KRAS, we indicate that single point mutations can have a relevant impact on expression as well as on mRNA secondary structure.

Yoon G, Park JY, Kim HJ, et al.
ARID3A Positivity Correlated With Favorable Prognosis in Patients With Residual Rectal Cancer After Neoadjuvant Chemoradiotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(6):2845-2853 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Recent studies have shown a marked increase of AT-rich interactive domain 3A (ARID3A) in colon cancer tissue compared to normal colon mucosa. However, the role of ARID3A has not yet been determined in rectal cancer. We, therefore, investigated the clinical relevance of ARID3A expression in patients with residual rectal cancer after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (NACRT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred thirty-four patients who underwent surgical resection for residual rectal cancer after NACRT were analyzed. ARID3A expression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry on whole-tissue sections. KRAS exon 2 (codons 12 and 13) and BRAF V600E mutation status were determined using polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: ARID3A positivity was found in 91 cases (64.5%), and it correlated with absence of perineural invasion (p=0.031), longer disease-free survival (DFS) (p=0.048) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) (p=0.006). However, ARID3A positivity was not correlated with KRAS (p=0.231) or BRAF mutation status (p=0.577). In multivariate analysis, ARID3A positivity was independently associated with a favorable CSS (p=0.035), but not DFS (p=0.051).
CONCLUSION: ARID3A positivity can predict favorable prognosis in patients with residual rectal cancer after NACRT.

Aguirre AJ
Oncogenic NRG1 Fusions: A New Hope for Targeted Therapy in Pancreatic Cancer.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(15):4589-4591 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Approximately 8%-10% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cases are

Hobbs GA, Der CJ
RAS Mutations Are Not Created Equal.
Cancer Discov. 2019; 9(6):696-698 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this issue of

Kim HS, Kim KM, Lee SB, et al.
Clinicopathological and biomolecular characteristics of stage IIB/IIC and stage IIIA colon cancer: Insight into the survival paradox.
J Surg Oncol. 2019; 120(3):423-430 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A survival paradox of stage IIB/IIC and IIIA colon cancer has been consistently observed throughout revisions of the TNM system. This study aimed to understand this paradox with clinicopathological and molecular differences.
METHODS: Clinicopathological characteristics of patients with pathologically confirmed stage IIB/IIC or IIIA colon cancer were retrospectively reviewed from a database. Publicly available molecular data were retrieved, and intrinsic subtypes were identified and subjected to gene sets enrichment analysis (GSEA).
RESULTS: Among the 159 patients included in the clinicopathological analysis, those at stage IIB/IIC had worse 3-year disease-free and overall survival than those at stage IIIA (59.3% vs 91.7%, P < 0.001 and 82.7% vs 98.5%, P < 0.001, respectively), even after adjusting for confounding factors. Data of 95 patients were retrieved from public databases, demonstrating a higher frequency of the microsatellite instable subtype in stage IIB/IIC. The consensus molecular subtype distribution pattern differed between the groups. The GSEA further suggested the protumor inflammatory reaction might be more prominent in stage IIB/IIC.
CONCLUSIONS: The survival paradox in colon cancer was confirmed and appears to be a multifactorial phenomenon not attributed to a single clinicopathologic factor. However, the greater molecular heterogeneity in stage IIB/IIC could contribute to the poor prognosis.

Jia H, Xu M, Bo Y, et al.
Ras-ERK1/2 signaling accelerates the progression of colorectal cancer via mediation of H2BK5ac.
Life Sci. 2019; 230:89-96 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) is a key downstream gene of Ras pathway. Activation of Ras-ERK1/2 has been testified to be linked to the progression of diverse cancers. Nonetheless, whether Ras-ERK1/2-tumorigenic pathway is mediated by epigenetic factors remains indistinct. The purpose of the research attempted to disclose the functions of H2BK5ac in Ras-ERK1/2-evoked CRC cell phenotypes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Western blot assay was implemented for exploration of the relevancy between Ras-ERK1/2 and H2BK5ac. H2BK5Q was established and its functions in cell viability, colony formation and migration were appraised via utilizing MTT, soft-agar colony formation and Transwell assays. The mRNA and transcription of ERK1/2 downstream genes were estimated via RT-qPCR and ChIP assays. HDAC2 functions in SW48 cell phenotypes were evaluated after co-transfection with pEGFP-Ras
KEY FINDINGS: H2BK5ac expression was evidently repressed by Ras-ERK1/2 pathway in SW48 cells. Moreover, Ras-ERK1/2-elevated cell viability, the number of colonies and migration were both impeded by H2BK5ac. The mRNA and transcriptions of CYR61, IGFBP3, WNT16B, NT5E, GDF15 and CARD16 were both mediated by H2BK5ac. Additionally, HDAC2 silence overtly recovered H2BK5ac expression inhibited by Ras-ERK1/2, meanwhile abated Ras-ERK1/2-affected SW48 cell phenotypes. Beyond that, restrained H2BK5ac induced by Ras-ERK1/2 was concerned with MDM2-mediated ATF2 degradation.
SIGNIFICANCE: These investigations testified that Ras-ERK1/2 pathway affected SW48 cell phenotypes through repressing H2BK5ac expression. Otherwise, declined H2BK5ac might be linked to MDM2-mediated ATF2 degradation.

Liu JF, Gray KP, Wright AA, et al.
Results from a single arm, single stage phase II trial of trametinib and GSK2141795 in persistent or recurrent cervical cancer.
Gynecol Oncol. 2019; 154(1):95-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Improved treatment for advanced cervical cancer is needed; currently, treatment options include combined chemotherapy and bevacizumab or pembrolizumab monotherapy for PD-L1 positive disease. PIK3CA and KRAS mutations have been reported in cervical cancers; this study therefore tested dual inhibition of PI3K and RAS signaling by combining the MEK inhibitor trametinib and the AKT inhibitor GSK2141795 in recurrent cervical cancer.
METHODS: This was an investigator-initiated phase II study combining trametinib and GSK2141795 in patients with recurrent cervical cancer. Primary endpoint was best tumor response; secondary endpoints included progression free survival, overall survival, and safety assessment. Translational objectives included characterization of molecular alterations in PI3K and RAS signaling pathway genes.
RESULTS: Planned accrual was 35 patients; 14 patients were enrolled and received at least one dose of study drug before the study was terminated due to discontinuation of GSK2141795 development. There were no confirmed responses; 1 patient had an unconfirmed PR, 8 had stable disease, 3 had progression as best response, and 2 were unevaluable. Toxicities were mostly grade 1 and 2, although 57% of patients experienced grade 3/4 adverse events and 50% patients required a dose reduction.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of trametinib and GSK2141795 was feasible but required dose holds and modifications for adverse events; however, anti-cancer activity was minimal, even in patients with PI3K or RAS pathway alterations. Although the study was terminated early after GSK2141795 development was halted, the findings in these 14 patients do not support further development of this combination in cervical cancer.

Staněk L, Gürlich R, Hajer J, et al.
Molecular pathology of cholangiocellular carcinomas.
Cas Lek Cesk. 2019; 158(2):64-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cholangiocellular carcinoma is a relatively rare malignant tumor, originating from cholangiocytes, with poor prognosis and late diagnosis. It is a malignancy with a variable biological etiology, numerous genetic and epigenetic changes. Its incidence in the Czech Republic is about 1.4 per 100,000 people per year. For good prognosis and long-term survival, early diagnosis with surgical treatment is important. In these cases, a 5-year survival rate is about 20-40 %. In the early diagnosis imaging methods and histopathological verification play an essential role, whereas laboratory oncomarkers are not yet sufficiently accurate. The same applies for genetic markers. This leads to the search of new molecular targets and the high effort in the introduction of cytological and molecular-biological methods with high specificity and sensitivity into routine practice. Current early diagnosis is based on the use of efficient imaging methods. The use of genetic testing, and especially knowledge of the molecular basis of this disease, will be of a great benefit. The observation of the association between the genetic pathways, IDH1, RAS-MAPK etc., and genetic mutations of genes, such as TP53, KRAS, SMAD4, BRAF, IDH1/2, may be significant. From the molecular point of view, it is also interesting to monitor oncogenic potential in HBV/HCV infection.

Cao Y, Zhu W, Chen W, et al.
Prognostic Value of BIRC5 in Lung Adenocarcinoma Lacking EGFR, KRAS, and ALK Mutations by Integrated Bioinformatics Analysis.
Dis Markers. 2019; 2019:5451290 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Objective: This study was aimed at investigating the prognostic significance of Baculoviral IAP repeat containing 5 (BIRC5) in lung adenocarcinoma (LAD) lacking EGFR, KRAS, and ALK mutations (triple-negative (TN) adenocarcinomas).
Methods: The gene expression profiles were obtained from Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO). The identification of the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) was performed by GeneSpring GX. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) was used to execute gene ontology function and pathway enrichment analysis. The protein interaction network was constructed by Cytoscape. The hub genes were extracted by MCODE and cytoHubba plugin from the network. Then, using BIRC5 as a candidate, the prognostic value in LAD and TN adenocarcinomas was verified by the Kaplan-Meier plotter and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, respectively. Finally, the mechanism of BIRC5 was predicted by a coexpressed network and enrichment analysis.
Results: A total of 38 upregulated genes and 121 downregulated genes were identified. 9 hub genes were extracted. Among them, the mRNA expression of 5 genes, namely, BIRC5, MCM4, CDC20, KIAA0101, and TRIP13, were significantly upregulated among TN adenocarcinomas (all
Conclusion: Overexpressed in tumors, BIRC5 is associated with unfavorable overall survival in TN adenocarcinomas. BIRC5 is a potential predictor and therapeutic target in TN adenocarcinomas.

Fabri O, Horakova J, Bodova I, et al.
Diagnosis and treatment of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia in Slovak Republic: novel approaches.
Neoplasma. 2019; 2019 [PubMed] Related Publications
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is a rare, aggressive clonal myeloproliferative disorder of infancy and early childhood caused by oncogenic mutations in genes involved in the Ras pathway. Long-term survival has only been achieved with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), being able to cure more than 50% patients. To manage the disease before HSCT remains an important issue with constant searching for optimal treatment modalities. According to several retrospective analyses, azacytidine (AZA) induced clinical and molecular responses in patients with relapsed JMML pre-transplant and post-transplant, suggesting its use as a promising "bridging" therapy before HSCT. In this paper we report our first consecutive cohort of patients with JMML treated at our institution as well as our experience with the diagnosis, novel treatment and management of these patients before the HSCT. We present 6 patients with JMML, harboring different somatic mutations (PTPN11 and NRAS), with distinct clinical features; 3 of them had been treated with AZA 75mg/m2 i.v. on days 1 to 7 of a 28-day cycle before the HSCT. Response to therapy was evaluated after each cycle in accordance with the International response criteria. One patient had a progression of splenomegaly during the treatment and after three cycles he was urgently transplanted. At present, he is remaining in complete remission 3 years after HSCT. Two patients showed impressive response following the first cycle of the therapy with a regression of splenomegaly and monocyte count, normalized leukocytes, platelets, and absent blasts in peripheral blood. The treatment was well-tolerated with no adverse effect recorded. The clinical activity and favorable toxicity of AZA in JMML provide a rationale for its use as a "bridging" therapy before HSCT. Prospective trials with accompanying translational studies are required to provide further information regarding individual factors that may direct the most appropriate choice of pretransplantation therapy.

Moon JR, Oh SJ, Lee CK, et al.
TGF-β1 protects colon tumor cells from apoptosis through XAF1 suppression.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(6):2117-2126 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is a multifunctional cytokine that functions as a growth suppressor in normal epithelial cells and early stage tumors, but acts as a tumor promoter during malignant progression. However, the molecular basis underlying the conversion of TGF‑β1 function remains largely undefined. X‑linked inhibitor of apoptosis‑associated factor 1 (XAF1) is a pro‑apoptotic tumor suppressor that frequently displays epigenetic inactivation in various types of human malignancies, including colorectal cancer. The present study explored whether the anti‑apoptotic effect of TGF‑β1 is linked to its regulatory effect on XAF1 induction in human colon cancer cells under stressful conditions. The results revealed that TGF‑β1 treatment protected tumor cells from various apoptotic stresses, including 5‑fluorouracil, etoposide and γ‑irradiation. XAF1 expression was activated at the transcriptional level by these apoptotic stresses and TGF‑β1 blocked the stress‑mediated activation of the XAF1 promoter. The study also demonstrated that mitogen‑activated protein kinase kinase inhibition or extracellular signal‑activated kinase (Erk)1/2 depletion induced XAF1 induction, while the activation of K‑Ras (G12C) led to its reduction. In addition, TGF‑β1 blocked the stress‑mediated XAF1 promoter activation and induction of apoptosis. This effect was abrogated if Erk1/2 was depleted, indicating that TGF‑β1 represses XAF1 transcription through Erk activation, thereby protecting tumor cells from apoptotic stresses. These findings point to a novel molecular mechanism underlying the tumor‑promoting function of TGF‑β1, which may be utilized in the development of a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Gao Y, Li L, Li T, et al.
Simvastatin delays castration‑resistant prostate cancer metastasis and androgen receptor antagonist resistance by regulating the expression of caveolin‑1.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(6):2054-2068 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
The failure of androgen deprivation therapy in prostate cancer treatment mainly results from drug resistance to androgen receptor antagonists. Although an aberrant caveolin‑1 (Cav‑1) expression has been reported in multiple tumor cell lines, it is unknown whether it is responsible for the progression of castration‑resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine whether Cav‑1 can be used as a key molecule for the prevention and treatment of CRPC, and to explore its mechanism of action in CRPC. For this purpose, tissue and serum samples from patients with primary prostate cancer and CRPC were analyzed using immunohistochemistry and enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay, which revealed that Cav‑1 was overexpressed in CRPC. Furthermore, Kaplan‑Meier survival analysis and univariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis demonstrated that Cav‑1 expression in tumors was an independent risk factor for the occurrence of CRPC and was associated with a shorter recurrence‑free survival time in patients with CRPC. Receiver operating characteristic curves suggested that serum Cav‑1 could be used as a diagnostic biomarker for CRPC (area under the curve, 0.876) using a cut‑off value of 0.68 ng/ml (with a sensitivity of 82.1% and specificity of 80%). In addition, it was determined that Cav‑1 induced the invasion and migration of CRPC cells by the activation of the H‑Ras/phosphoinositide‑specific phospholipase Cε signaling cascade in the cell membrane caveolae. Importantly, simvastatin was able to augment the anticancer effects of androgen receptor antagonists by downregulating the expression of Cav‑1. Collectively, the findings of this study provide evidence that Cav‑1 is a promising predictive biomarker for CRPC and that lowering cholesterol levels with simvastatin or interfering with the expression of Cav‑1 may prove to be a useful strategy with which to prevent and/or treat CRPC.

Iida-Norita R, Kawamura M, Suzuki Y, et al.
Vasohibin-2 plays an essential role in metastasis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(7):2296-2308 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Vasohibin-2 (VASH2) is expressed in various cancers and promotes their progression. We recently reported that pancreatic cancer patients with higher VASH2 expression show poorer prognosis. Herein, we sought to characterize the role of VASH2 in pancreatic cancer. We used LSL-Kras

Jones MR, Williamson LM, Topham JT, et al.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(15):4674-4681 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Gene fusions involving neuregulin 1 (
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Forty-seven patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma received comprehensive whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing and analysis. Two patients with gene fusions involving
RESULTS: Three of 47 (6%) patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma were identified as
CONCLUSIONS: This work adds to a growing body of evidence that

Tsujino T, Sugito N, Taniguchi K, et al.
MicroRNA-143/Musashi-2/KRAS cascade contributes positively to carcinogenesis in human bladder cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(7):2189-2199 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
It has been well established that microRNA (miR)-143 is downregulated in human bladder cancer (BC). Recent precision medicine has shown that mutations in BC are frequently observed in FGFR3, RAS and PIK3CA genes, all of which correlate with RAS signaling networks. We have previously shown that miR-143 suppresses cell growth by inhibiting RAS signaling networks in several cancers including BC. In the present study, we showed that synthetic miR-143 negatively regulated the RNA-binding protein Musashi-2 (MSI2) in BC cell lines. MSI2 is an RNA-binding protein that regulates the stability of certain mRNAs and their translation by binding to the target sequences of the mRNAs. Of note, the present study clarified that MSI2 positively regulated KRAS expression through directly binding to the target sequence of KRAS mRNA and promoting its translation, thus contributing to the maintenance of KRAS expression. Thus, miR-143 silenced KRAS and MSI2, which further downregulated KRAS expression through perturbation of the MSI2/KRAS cascade.

Chen Z, Yang D, Jiang X, et al.
Final-2 targeted glycolysis mediated apoptosis and autophagy in human lung adenocarcinoma cells but failed to inhibit xenograft in nude mice.
Food Chem Toxicol. 2019; 130:1-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural products derived from fruits have multiple antitumor potential. However, very few have been developed for clinical therapy, due to the limited efficiency or insufficient study of their mechanism. Since lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world, there is still need to explore novel compounds but their molecular mechanisms remain elusive. In this study, a new compound Final-2 was synthesized. Final-2 exhibited antitumor activity in A549 cells by promoting apoptosis and blocking autophagy. Moreover, Final-2 significantly induced G

Sale MJ, Balmanno K, Saxena J, et al.
MEK1/2 inhibitor withdrawal reverses acquired resistance driven by BRAF
Nat Commun. 2019; 10(1):2030 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
Acquired resistance to MEK1/2 inhibitors (MEKi) arises through amplification of BRAF

Liang W, Guo M, Pan Z, et al.
Association between certain non-small cell lung cancer driver mutations and predictive markers for chemotherapy or programmed death-ligand 1 inhibition.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(6):2014-2021 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
This study aimed to analyze the association between driver mutations and predictive markers for some anti-tumor agents in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). A cohort of 785 Chinese patients with NSCLC who underwent resection from March 2016 to November 2017 in the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University was investigated. The specimens were subjected to hybridization capture and sequence of 8 important NSCLC-related driver genes. In addition, the slides were tested for PD-L1, excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1), ribonucleotide reductase subunit M1 (RRM1), thymidylate synthase (TS) and β-tubulin III by immunohistochemical staining. A total of 498 (63.4%) patients had at least 1 driver gene alteration. Wild-type, EGFR rare mutation (mut), ALK fusion (fus), RAS mut, RET fus and MET mut had relatively higher proportions of lower ERCC1 expression. EGFR 19del, EGFR L858R, EGFR rare mut, ALK fus, HER2 mut, ROS1 fus and MET mut were more likely to have TS low expression. Wild-type, EGFR L858R, EGFR rare mut and BRAF mut were associated with lower β-tubulin III expression. In addition, wild-type, RAS mut, ROS1 fus, BRAF and MET mut had higher proportion of PD-L1 high expression. As a pilot validation, 21 wild-type patients with advanced NSCLC showed better depth of response and response rate to taxanes compared with pemetrexed/gemcitabine (31.2%/60.0% vs 26.6%/45.5%). Our study may aid in selecting the optimal salvage regimen after targeted therapy failure, or the chemo-regimen where targeted therapy has not been a routine option. Further validation is warranted.

Choi SY, Kim HW, Jeon SH, et al.
Comparison of PANAMutyper and PNAClamp for Detecting KRAS Mutations from Patients With Malignant Pleural Effusion.
In Vivo. 2019 May-Jun; 33(3):945-954 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: KRAS is one of the frequently mutated genes in human cancers and often relates with drug resistance and poor prognosis. PANAMutyper™ is a novel technology that integrates PNAClamp™ and PANA S-Melting™. In the present study, PANAMutyper™ and PNAClamp™ were compared for the detection of KRAS mutations using different samples of patients with malignant pleural effusion.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 103 patients (including 56 lung adenocarcinoma, 10 lung squamous carcinoma, 17 small cell lung cancer, 3 large cell lung cancer, 3 stomach cancer, 2 ovarian cancer, and others) with malignant pleural effusion were investigated using matched tumor tissue, cell block, and pleural effusion samples. The diagnostic performance of these two methods was compared.
RESULTS: KRAS mutations were detected in 18 (17.5%) of 103 patients using tissue, cell block, and pleural effusion samples. All 18 patients with KRAS mutations were detected by PANAMutyper™ using any sample type, however, only 7 cases were detected by PNAClamp™. Among the subtypes of KRAS mutations, substitution in codon 12, 35G>T was the most frequent, followed by substitution in codon 12, 35G>A and codon 12, 34G>A. In pleural effusion specimens, PANAMutyper™ showed a better diagnostic performance compared to PNAClamp™.
CONCLUSION: PANAMutyper™ had a diagnostic superiority for the detection of KRAS mutations in patients with malignant pleural effusion compared to PNAClamp™, although there was a concordance between PANAMutyper™ and PNAClamp™ results. Therefore, PANAMutyper™ can be used for a more sensitive and accurate detection of KRAS mutations.

Kel A, Boyarskikh U, Stegmaier P, et al.
Walking pathways with positive feedback loops reveal DNA methylation biomarkers of colorectal cancer.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2019; 20(Suppl 4):119 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The search for molecular biomarkers of early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) is an important but still quite challenging and unsolved task. Detection of CpG methylation in human DNA obtained from blood or stool has been proposed as a promising approach to a noninvasive early diagnosis of CRC. Thousands of abnormally methylated CpG positions in CRC genomes are often located in non-coding parts of genes. Novel bioinformatic methods are thus urgently needed for multi-omics data analysis to reveal causative biomarkers with a potential driver role in early stages of cancer.
METHODS: We have developed a method for finding potential causal relationships between epigenetic changes (DNA methylations) in gene regulatory regions that affect transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) and gene expression changes. This method also considers the topology of the involved signal transduction pathways and searches for positive feedback loops that may cause the carcinogenic aberrations in gene expression. We call this method "Walking pathways", since it searches for potential rewiring mechanisms in cancer pathways due to dynamic changes in the DNA methylation status of important gene regulatory regions ("epigenomic walking").
RESULTS: In this paper, we analysed an extensive collection of full genome gene-expression data (RNA-seq) and DNA methylation data of genomic CpG islands (using Illumina methylation arrays) generated from a sample of tumor and normal gut epithelial tissues of 300 patients with colorectal cancer (at different stages of the disease) (data generated in the EU-supported SysCol project). Identification of potential epigenetic biomarkers of DNA methylation was performed using the fully automatic multi-omics analysis web service "My Genome Enhancer" (MGE) ( MGE uses the database on gene regulation TRANSFAC®, the signal transduction pathways database TRANSPATH®, and software that employs AI (artificial intelligence) methods for the analysis of cancer-specific enhancers.
CONCLUSIONS: The identified biomarkers underwent experimental testing on an independent set of blood samples from patients with colorectal cancer. As a result, using advanced methods of statistics and machine learning, a minimum set of 6 biomarkers was selected, which together achieve the best cancer detection potential. The markers include hypermethylated positions in regulatory regions of the following genes: CALCA, ENO1, MYC, PDX1, TCF7, ZNF43.

Jin H, Jang Y, Cheng N, et al.
Restoration of mutant K-Ras repressed miR-199b inhibits K-Ras mutant non-small cell lung cancer progression.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):165 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: miRNAs play crucial role in the progression of K-Ras-mutated nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, most studies have focused on miRNAs that target K-Ras. Here, we investigated miRNAs regulated by mutant K-Ras and their functions.
METHODS: miRNAs regulated by mutant K-Ras were screened using miRNA arrays. miR-199b expression levels were measured by qRT-PCR. The protein expression levels were measured using Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The effects of miR-199b on NSCLC were examined both in vitro and in vivo by overexpressing or inhibiting miR-199b. DNA methylation was measured by bisulfite sequencing.
RESULTS: An inverse correlation was observed between K-Ras mutation status and miR-199b levels in NSCLC specimens and cell lines. The inhibition of miR-199b stimulated NSCLC growth and metastasis, while restoration of miR-199b suppressed K-Ras mutation-driven lung tumorigenesis as well as K-Ras-mutated NSCLC growth and metastasis. miR-199b inactivated ERK and Akt pathways by targeting K-Ras, KSR2, PIK3R1, Akt1, and Rheb1. Furthermore, we determined that mutant K-Ras inhibits miR-199b expression by increasing miR-199b promoter methylation.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that mutant K-Ras plays an oncogenic role through downregulating miR-199b in NSCLC and that overexpression of miR-199b is a novel strategy for the treatment of K-Ras-mutated NSCLC.

Oue N, Sentani K, Sakamoto N, et al.
Molecular carcinogenesis of gastric cancer: Lauren classification, mucin phenotype expression, and cancer stem cells.
Int J Clin Oncol. 2019; 24(7):771-778 [PubMed] Related Publications
Gastric cancer (GC), one of the most common human cancers, is a heterogeneous disease with different phenotypes, prognoses, and responses to treatment. Understanding the pathogenesis of GC at the molecular level is important for prognosis prediction and determining treatments. Microsatellite instability (MSI), silencing of MLH1, MGMT, and CDKN2A genes by DNA hypermethylation, KRAS mutation, APC mutation, and ERBB2 amplification are frequently found in intestinal type GC. Inactivation of CDH1 and RARB by DNA hypermethylation, and amplification of FGFR and MET, are frequently detected in diffuse type GC. In addition, BST2 and PCDHB9 genes are overexpressed in intestinal type GC. Both genes are associated with GC progression. GC can be divided into gastric/intestinal mucin phenotypes according to mucin expression. MSI, alterations of TP73, CDH1 mutation, and DNA methylation of MLH are detected frequently in the gastric mucin phenotype. TP53 mutation, deletion of APC, and DNA methylation of MGMT are detected frequently in the intestinal mucin phenotype. FKTN is overexpressed in the intestinal mucin phenotype, and IQGAP3 is overexpressed in the gastric mucin phenotype. These genes are involved in GC progression. To characterize cancer stem cells, a useful method is spheroid colony formation. KIFC1 and KIF11 genes show more than twofold higher expression in spheroid-forming cells than that in parental cells. Both KIF genes are overexpressed in GC, and knockdown of these genes inhibits spheroid formation. Alterations of these molecules may be useful to understand gastric carcinogenesis. Specific inhibitors of these molecules may also be promising anticancer drugs.

Xu K, Park D, Magis AT, et al.
Small Molecule KRAS Agonist for Mutant KRAS Cancer Therapy.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/02/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lung cancer patients with KRAS mutation(s) have a poor prognosis due in part to the development of resistance to currently available therapeutic interventions. Development of a new class of anticancer agents that directly targets KRAS may provide a more attractive option for the treatment of KRAS-mutant lung cancer.
RESULTS: Here we identified a small molecule KRAS agonist, KRA-533, that binds the GTP/GDP-binding pocket of KRAS. In vitro GDP/GTP exchange assay reveals that KRA-533 activates KRAS by preventing the cleavage of GTP into GDP, leading to the accumulation of GTP-KRAS, an active form of KRAS. Treatment of human lung cancer cells with KRA-533 resulted in increased KRAS activity and suppression of cell growth. Lung cancer cell lines with KRAS mutation were relatively more sensitive to KRA-533 than cell lines without KRAS mutation. Mutating one of the hydrogen-bonds among the KRA-533 binding amino acids in KRAS (mutant K117A) resulted in failure of KRAS to bind KRA-533. KRA-533 had no effect on the activity of K117A mutant KRAS, suggesting that KRA-533 binding to K117 is required for KRA-533 to enhance KRAS activity. Intriguingly, KRA-533-mediated KRAS activation not only promoted apoptosis but also autophagic cell death. In mutant KRAS lung cancer xenografts and genetically engineered mutant KRAS-driven lung cancer models, KRA-533 suppressed malignant growth without significant toxicity to normal tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: The development of this KRAS agonist as a new class of anticancer drug offers a potentially effective strategy for the treatment of lung cancer with KRAS mutation and/or mutant KRAS-driven lung cancer.

Liu G, Li B
Role of miRNA in transformation from normal tissue to colorectal adenoma and cancer.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2019; 15(2):278-285 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although many modalities can be used to prolong the remission of colorectal cancer (CRC), early diagnosis is essential to improve the therapeutic outcomes. The conventional ways of diagnosing and monitoring the progresses from adenoma to CRC are colonoscopy and fecal occult blood test (FOBT). However, colonoscopy is expensive and invasive; while the FOBT is not sensitive. miRNAs may be a new modality to monitor the transition from adenoma to CRC. We reviewed publications of miRNA profile differences from colorectal normal mucosa (NM) to adenoma, and to CRC and tried to find the roles of miRNA in these transitions. This review also highlighted the possibility of serum miRNAs as markers for monitoring these transitions. The miRNA profiles are different from normal colorectal mucosa to adenoma and to CRC. The miRNAs may have pro- or anti-CRC effects through oncogenes such as c-Met and KRAS. Others may interfere with the immune system. More interestingly, some miRNAs are continuously increased from NM to adenoma and to CRC; others, such as miRNA-30b, are consequently decreased. The literature shows that miRNAs are involved in the whole process of the colorectal carcinogenesis. The miRNAs may be the biomarkers in monitoring the transition from adenoma to CRC.

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