Purpose: The Ras gene is one of the oncogenes most frequently detected in human cancers, and codes for three proteins (K-, N-, and H-Ras). The aim of this study was to examine the mutations in codons 12, 13 and 61 of the three Ras genes in cases of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: Paired samples of HCC and corresponding non-malignant liver tissue were collected from 61 patients who underwent hepatectomy. A dot-blot analysis was used to analyze the products of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of codons 12, 13, and 61 of K-, N- and H-Ras for mutations. Results: Only one mutation (K-Ras codon 13; Gly to Asp) was detected among the 61 patients. Interestingly, this patient had a medical history of surgery for both gastric cancer and right lung cancer. No mutations were found in codons 12 and 61 of K-Ras or codons 12, 13 and 61 of the N-Ras and H-Ras genes in any of the HCCs or corresponding non-malignant tissues. Conclusions: These findings indicated that the activation of Ras proto-oncogenes by mutations in codons 12, 13, and 61 does not play a major role in hepatocellular carcinogenesis.
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