Molecular genetics and cellular events of K-Ras-driven tumorigenesis

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Cellular transformation and the accumulation of genomic instability are the two key events required for tumorigenesis. K-Ras (Kirsten-rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) is a prominent oncogene that has been proven to drive tumorigenesis. K-Ras also modulates numerous genetic regulatory mechanisms and forms a large tumorigenesis network. In this review, we track the genetic aspects of K-Ras signaling networks and assemble the sequence of cellular events that constitute the tumorigenesis process, such as regulation of K-Ras expression (which is influenced by miRNA, small nucleolar RNA and lncRNA), activation of K-Ras (mutations), generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), induction of DNA damage and apoptosis, induction of DNA damage repair pathways and ROS detoxification systems, cellular transformation after apoptosis by the blebbishield emergency program and the accumulation of genomic/chromosomal instability that leads to tumorigenesis.

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