The MAPK signaling pathway plays a crucial role in tumorgenesis and cell proliferation in human papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Ret/PTC rearrangements, RAS and BRAF mutations, the main non-overlapping genetic alterations all leading to MAPK cascade activation, are cumulatively identified in 60-80% of PTCs. In approximately one-fourth of the cases, oncogenic background potentially contributing to MAPK activation in PTC might be different. We therefore attempted to evaluate the mutational status of genes encoding other members of RAF family known to act upstream of MAPKs, ARAF and CRAF (RAF-1). In addition we also analyzed the MET gene that encodes hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor receptor overexpressed in most of PTCs and a MAPK cascade contributor. In 129 Japanese patients with PTC, BRAFT1799A was detected in 65 cases (50.4%), and the remaining 64 tumor specimens were subjected to mutation analysis of kinase domains of ARAF, CRAF and MET genes, and hotspots of K- and N-RAS genes. No ARAF, CRAF, MET, K- and N-RAS mutations were revealed. Based on these observations, we concluded that despite the fact that ARAF, CRAF and MET are actively expressed, alterations of these genes are rare in PTC and unlikely to play a perceptible role in the molecular pathogenesis of this type of human malignancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism