Reduced HRAS G12V-Driven Tumorigenesis of Cell Lines Expressing KRAS C118S.
In many different human cancers, one of the HRAS, NRAS, or KRAS genes in the RAS family of small GTPases acquires an oncogenic mutation that renders the encoded protein constitutively GTP-bound and thereby active, which is well established to promote tumorigenesis. In addition to oncogenic mutations, accumulating evidence suggests that the wild-type isoforms may also be activated and contribute to oncogenic RAS-driven tumorigenesis. In this regard, redox-dependent reactions with cysteine 118 (C118) have been found to promote activation of wild-type HRAS and NRAS. We sought to determine if this residue is also important for the activation of wild-type KRAS and promotion of tumorigenesis. Thus, we mutated C118 to serine (C118S) in wild-type KRAS to block redox-dependent reactions at this site. We now report that this mutation reduced the level of GTP-bound KRAS and impaired RAS signaling stimulated by the growth factor EGF. With regards to tumorigenesis, we also report that oncogenic HRAS-transformed human cells in which endogenous KRAS was knocked down and replaced with KRASC118S exhibited reduced xenograft tumor growth, as did oncogenic HRAS-transformed KrasC118S/C118S murine cells in which the C118S mutation was knocked into the endogenous Kras gene. Taken together, these data suggest a role for redox-dependent activation of wild-type KRAS through C118 in oncogenic HRAS-driven tumorigenesis.
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