Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 113–120 | Cite as

An Update on the Biology of RAS/RAF Mutations in Colorectal Cancer

  • Mandayam O. Nandan
  • Vincent W. YangEmail author


Deaths caused by colorectal cancer (CRC) are among the leading causes of cancer-related death in the United States and around the world. Approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with CRC each year and around 50,000 will die from it. Mutations in many key genes have been identified that are important to the pathogenesis of CRC. Among the genes mutated in CRC, RAS and RAF mutations are common events. Both RAS and RAF are critical mediators of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway that is involved in regulating cellular homeostasis, including proliferation, survival, and differentiation. In this review, we provide a historical perspective and update on RAS/RAF mutations as related to colorectal cancer. Additionally, we will review recent mouse models of RAS and RAF mutations that have an impact on CRC research.


RAS signaling pathway Oncogene Colorectal cancer KRAS and B-RAF mutations Mouse models 



This work was in part supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (DK52230, DK64399, and CA84197).


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Digestive Diseases, Department of MedicineEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Hematology and Medical OncologyEmory University School of MedicineAtlantaUSA

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