K-ras mutations in lung tumors and tumors from other organs are consistent with a common mechanism of ethylene oxide tumorigenesis in the B6C3F1 mouse.

Laboratory of Experimental Pathology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
Toxicologic Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.06). 02/2007; 35(1):81-5. DOI: 10.1080/01926230601063839
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ethylene oxide is a multisite carcinogen in rodents and classified as a human carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. In 2-year mouse studies, ethylene oxide (EO) induced lung, Harderian gland (HG), and uterine neoplasms. We evaluated representative EO-induced and equivalent spontaneous neoplasms for K-ras mutations in codons 12, 13, and 61. K-ras mutations were identified in 100% (23/23) of the EO-induced lung neoplasms and 25% (27/108) of the spontaneous lung neoplasms. Codon 12 G to T transversions were common in EO-induced lung neoplasms (21/23) but infrequent in spontaneous lung neoplasms (1/108). K-ras mutations were found in 86% (18/21) of the EO-induced HG neoplasms and 7% (2/27) of the spontaneous HG neoplasms. Codon 13 G to C and codon 12 G to T transversions were predominant in the EO-induced HG neoplasms but absent in spontaneous HG neoplasms (0/27). K-ras mutations occurred in 83% (5/6) of the EO-induced uterine carcinomas and all were codon 13 C to T transitions. These data show a strong predilection for development of K-ras mutations in EO-induced lung, Harderian gland, and uterine neoplasms. This suggests that EO specifically targets the K-ras gene in multiple tissue types and that this event is a critical component of EO-induced tumorigenesis.

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    ABSTRACT: The K-ras gene is frequently mutated in colorectal cancer and has been associated with tumor initiation and progression; approximately 90% of the activating mutations are found in codons 12 and 13 of exon 1 and just under 5% in codon 61 located in exon 2. These mutations determine single aminoacidic substitutions in the GTPase pocket leading to a block of the GTP hydrolytic activity of the K-ras p21 protein, and therefore to its constitutive activation. Point mutations in sites of the K-ras gene, other than codons 12, 13 and 61, and other types of genetic alterations, may occur in a minority of cases, such as in the less frequent cases of double mutations in the K-ras gene. However, all mutations in this gene, even those which occur in non-canonical sites or double mutations, are relevant oncogenic alterations in colorectal cancer and may underlie K-ras pathway hyperactivation. In the present study, we report the case of a patient with colorectal cancer presenting a concurrent point mutation in exons 1 and 2 of the K-ras gene, a GGT to TGT substitution (Glycine to Cysteine) at codon 12, and a GAC to AAC substitution (Aspartic Acid to Asparagine) at codon 57. In addition, we found in the same patient's sample a silent polymorphism at codon 11 (Ala11Ala) of exon 1.
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