The ras GTPase activating protein (ras GAP), a regulator of Ras activity, has two isoforms; ras GAP 120 and ras GAP 100. The latter, whose molecular size is about 100 kDa, is generated alternative splicing from the ras GAP 120 gene and is considered placenta-specific, while the former is expressed ubiquitously. As point mutations of ras are frequently observed in human tumors, we investigated the expression of ras GAP in several human cancer cell lines and samples of human colon cancer using immunoprecipitation and immunoblot analysis with an anti-GAP monoclonal antibody, B4F8, as well as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). ras GAP 100 protein was detected in 4 of 9 colonic, 1 of 6 gastric and 1 of 4 lung cancer cell lines as well as, ras GAP 120, but not in colon cancer specimens. In contrast, ras GAP 100 mRNA was present in all tested cell lines and colon cancer specimens. Then, we investigated ras GAP 100 expression in normal tissues. ras GAP 100 protein was not detected in human normal tissues except placenta. Contrary, ras GAP 100 message was expressed in normal tissues derived from liver, stomach, colon and lymphocyte although the level of which was smaller than that in placenta. These findings demonstrate that ras GAP 100, reportedly placenta-specific, is distributed in other normal tissues at least at mRNA level and its expression is augmented in some cancer cell lines.
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