Mutations of the BRAF gene in human cancer

Helen Davies, Graham R. Bignell, Charles Cox, Philip Stephens, Sarah Edkins, Sheila Clegg, Jon Teague, Hayley Woffendin, Mathew J. Garnett, William Bottomley, Neil Davis, Ed Dicks, Rebecca Ewing, Yvonne Floyd, Kristian Gray, Sarah Hall, Rachel Hawes, Jaime Hughes, Vivian Kosmidou, Andrew MenziesCatherine Mould, Adrian Parker, Claire Stevens, Stephen Watt, Steven Hooper, Hiran Jayatilake, Barry A. Gusterson, Colin Cooper, Janet Shipley, Darren Hargrave, Katherine Pritchard-Jones, Norman Maitland, Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Gregory J. Riggins, Darell D. Bigner, Giuseppe Palmieri, Antonio Cossu, Adrienne Flanagan, Andrew Nicholson, Judy W.C. Ho, Suet Y. Leung, Siu T. Yuen, Barbara L. Weber, Hilliard F. Seigler, Timothy L. Darrow, Hugh Paterson, Richard Wooster, Michael R. Stratton, P. Andrew Futreal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7470 Scopus citations


Cancers arise owing to the accumulation of mutations in critical genes that alter normal programmes of cell proliferation, differentiation and death. As the first stage of a systematic genomewide screen for these genes, we have prioritized for analysis signalling pathways in which at least one gene is mutated in human cancer. The RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK-MAP kinase pathway mediates cellular responses to growth signals1. RAS is mutated to an oncogenic form in about 15% of human cancer. The three RAF genes code for cytoplasmic serine/threonine kinases that are regulated by binding RAS1-3. Here we report BRAF somatic missense mutations in 66% of malignant melanomas and at lower frequency in a wide range of human cancers. All mutations are within the kinase domain, with a single substitution (V599E) accounting for 80%. Mutated BRAF proteins have elevated kinase activity and are transforming in NIH3T3 cells. Furthermore, RAS function is not required for the growth of cancer cell lines with the V599E mutation. As BRAF is a serine/threonine kinase that is commonly activated by somatic point mutation in human cancer, it may provide new therapeutic opportunities in malignant melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-954
Number of pages6
Issue number6892
StatePublished - Jun 27 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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