Ras (H-, K-, N-Ras)
Evidence that viral genes were translated in virus-transformed cells was first reported in the early 1970s (Green et al. 1971). Following on from these observations, it was discovered that certain 21 kDa proteins encoded by viral genes and possessing guanine nucleotide–binding properties (Scolnick et al. 1979) were essential for the maintenance of transformation in cells infected with the Kirsten and Harvey sarcoma viruses (Shih et al. 1979). Intriguingly, sequences containing a very high degree of homology to genes encoding these transforming proteins were found in normal rat, mouse, and human genomes, suggesting a physiological role, unrelated to disease, for these proteins. Mutant versions of the oncogenes associated with the Kirsten sarcoma virus (K-ras) and the Harvey sarcoma virus (H-ras) were found in cancer cell lines of various tissue origins (Der et al. 1982). The majority of these contained point mutations that resulted...
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