Molecular markers
Melanoma mutations

Author: Joshua Bradish, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Liang Cheng, M.D.

Revised: 12 June 2018, last major update June 2014

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: NRAS[TI] melanoma free full text[sb]

Page views in 2018: 189
Page views in 2019 to date: 190
Cite this page: Bradish, J. NRAS. website. Accessed December 13th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • NRAS (neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homologue) is involved in cell signal transmission
  • NRAS is very similar to HRAS and KRAS in its structure
  • NRAS binds GTP for activation and has GTPase activity for inactivation
  • Activated NRAS can activate both the MAPK pathway and AKT pathway
  • NRAS activates RAF enzymes (i.e. CRAF or BRAF, Cancer Res 2006;66:9483)
Diagrams / tables

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NRAS pathway

Prognosis and treatment
  • Multiple commercially available PCR kits are available which detect the most frequent mutations in codons 12, 13 and 61
  • May also detect the full spectrum of mutations through PCR and pyrosequencing

  • Inhibitor therapy
    • No direct inhibitor therapy is currently available but NRAS is an attractive target for future research and development
    • There are several clinical trials currently evaluating the efficacy of MEK inhibition in patients with NRAS mutated melanomas (My Cancer Genome: NRAS in Melanoma [Accessed 12 June 2018])
Mechanisms of resistance
  • No mechanisms of resistance have been described
Resistance therapies
  • No resistance therapies have been evaluated
  • Mutated NRAS appears to preferentially activate CRAF over BRAF and my therefore account for some of its associated histological findings
  • NRAS is mostly mutually exclusive with other mutations found in melanoma (i.e. BRAF, KIT, etc.) (Cancer Res 2006;66:9483)

  • Associated histological findings
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