K-ras p21 expression and activity in lung and lung tumors.

TitleK-ras p21 expression and activity in lung and lung tumors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
JournalExperimental lung research

Although K-ras is mutated in many human and mouse lung adenocarcinomas, the function of K-ras p21 in lung is not known. We sought evidence for the prevalent hypothesis that K-ras p21 activates raf, which in turn passes the signal through the extracellular signal regulated kinases (Erks) to stimulate cell division, and that this pathway is upregulated when K-ras is mutated. Results from both mouse lung tumors and immortalized cultured E10 and C10 lung type II cells failed to substantiate this hypothesis. Lung tumors did not have more total K-ras p21 or K-ras p21 GTP than normal lung tissue, nor were high levels of these proteins found in tumors with mutant K-ras. Activated K-ras p21-GTP levels did not correlate with proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Special features of tumors with mutant K-ras included small size of carcinomas compared with carcinomas lacking this mutation, and correlation of proliferating cell nuclear antigen with raf-1. In nontransformed type II cells in culture, both total and activated K-ras p21 increased markedly at confluence but not after serum stimulation, whereas both Erk1/2 and the protein kinase Akt were rapidly activated by the serum treatment. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays of K-ras mRNA indicated an increase in confluent and especially in postconfluent cells. Together the findings indicate that normal K-ras p21 activity is associated with growth arrest of lung type II cells, and that the exact contribution of mutated K-ras p21 to tumor development remains to be discovered.

Short TitleExp Lung Res
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