The activation status of the ras pathway was studied in eight ovarian tumor cell lines. Three biochemical parameters indicative of ras activation were tested: (a) the ratio of the ras-GTP:ras-GDP complex; (b) the activity of mitogen-activated protein kinases p42/p44; and (c) ets-2 phosphorylation at position threonine 72, a mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation site in vivo. Four of the ovarian tumor cell lines had an activated ras pathway by these three parameters, whereas only one of these contained a mutated ras gene. In addition, ras/ets-2 responsive genes such as the urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) were activated in these four cell lines. Transient transfection assays indicated that the compound ets-AP1 oncogene responsive enhancer present in the uPA gene was the target of ras signaling in ovarian tumor cells and that the combination of activated ras and ets-2 could superactivate the uPA enhancer element. Coexpression of the dominant-negative ras-Asn17 cDNA gene abrogated activity of this uPA element in ovarian tumor cells. These data indicate that ets-2 is a nuclear target of ras action in ovarian tumor cell lines and that ras signaling pathways may be activated in ovarian cancer by mechanisms independent of direct genetic damage to ras genes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - May 15 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research