Ras proteins have been found mutated in about one-third of human tumors. In vitro, Ras has been shown to regulate distinct and contradictory effects, such as cellular proliferation and apoptosis. Nonetheless, the effects that the wild-type protein elicits in tumorigenesis are poorly understood. Depending on the type of tissue, Ras proto-oncogenes appear to either promote or inhibit the tumor phenotype. In this report, we treated wild-type and N-ras knockout mice with 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA) to induce fibrosarcomas and found that MCA is more carcinogenic in wild-type mice than in knockout mice. After injecting different doses of a tumorigenic cell line, the wild-type mice exhibited a shorter latency of tumor development than the knockouts, indicating that there are N-ras-dependent differences in the stromal cells. Likewise, we have analyzed B-cell lymphomas induced by either N-methylnitrosourea or by the N-ras oncogene in mice that over-express the N-ras proto-oncogene and found that the over-expression of wild-type N-ras is able to increase the incidence of these lymphomas. Considered together, our results indicate that Ras proto-oncogenes can enhance or inhibit the malignant phenotype in vivo in different systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research