Overexpression of Ras in Mucus-Secreting Human Colon Carcinoma Cells of Low Tumorigenicity

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4 Scopus citations


We have investigated the expression of the protooncogenes of the myc and ras family in HT29 cells and in three differentiated clonal cell lines derived from this colon carcinoma cell line. In contrast to the decrease in myc expression seen when leukemia cells are induced to differentiate, we have found no changes in expression of the myc gene family in differentiated colon carcinoma cells. However, a greater than 5-fold increase in expression of sequences which hybridize to Ha-ras was observed in cells which secrete mucin, with a smaller increase seen in expression of Ki-ras in the same cells. This increase was not seen in cells which exhibit vectorial transport of water and ions, and which are not mucus-secreting. All differentiated lines were less tumorigenic in nude mice than the parental HT29 cells, irrespective of the level of ras expression. These results are consistent with the reports that ras expression is highest in the most differentiated cells of the colon and is substantially decreased in metastatic human colon tumors as compared to primary colon tumors. The data also suggest that a high level of ras gene expression is a marker for a particular differentiated state in colon cells rather than being directly equated with transformation or tumorigenicity. Hence, the results may reflect on some of the discrepancies concerning ras gene expression in human colon and other tumors which appear in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3763-3765
Number of pages3
JournalCancer research
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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