Molecular mechanisms underlying the tumorigenesis of colorectal adenomas: Correlation to activated K-ras oncogene
Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, and Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan
- Published online on: December 1, 2006 https://doi.org/10.3892/or.16.6.1245
- Pages: 1245-1252
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Mutations of K-ras gene have been demonstrated in 40-50% of colorectal cancer and large adenoma (>1 cm). This study was intended to clarify the correlation between the existence of K-ras oncogene and the pathological features of colorectal adenomas using our recently developed membrane arrays. Moreover, the downstream genes regulated by K-ras oncogene were explored to serve as potential biomarkers in the early diagnosis and risk assessment of patients with colorectal adenoma. Specimens were collected from 70 patients with colorectal adenoma. The alterations of K-ras oncogene were analyzed by direct sequencing and our constructed membrane arrays, respectively. The results of direct sequencing showed that 21 of 70 samples (30%) had K-ras gene mutations. The most frequently mutated sites included codons 12, 13, 15 and 18. Furthermore, activated K-ras oncogene was identified in 18 of 70 (25.7%) adenoma by membrane arrays. Statistical analyses showed that the membrane array had the accuracy of 90.0%, sensitivity of 88.9%, and specificity of 90.4%. The frequency of the mutational sites of K-ras gene was located as follows: codon 12, 100% (4/4); codon 13, 100% (4/4); codon 15, 75% (6/8); and codon 18, 100% (2/2). The analysis of the correlation between the experimental data and pathological characteristics of adenoma showed that activated K-ras oncogenes were significantly associated with the size, number and histology of adenomas (all P<0.001). Finally, we found the downstream genes activated by K-ras oncogene, including B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (BCL2), Homo sapiens H2A histone family, member Z (H2AFZ), Homo sapiens RAP1B, member of RAS oncogene family (RAP1B), Homo sapiens T-box 19 (TBX19), Homo sapiens E2F transcription factor 4, p107/p130-binding (E2F4) and matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1), of which were overexpressed in most of all examined adenomas. These genes were then suggested to have functions involved in cell growth. The preliminary results indicated that the accuracy of membrane arrays was comparable to conventional DNA sequencing in the detection of activated K-ras oncogenes. Therefore, we propose that activated K-ras oncogene in colorectal adenomas may play an important role in the subsequent colorectal carcinogenesis through a group of K-ras-related molecular targets.