A point mutation alters the 12th amino acid of the c-Ha-ras oncogene product p21 in a human bladder cancer cell line. This is, at present, the only mutation known to result in a human transforming gene. This mutation may therefore represent a possible target for mutagenesis leading to carcinogenesis in humans. By means of restriction enzyme analysis, 29 human cancers, including 20 primary tumor tissues, derived from organs commonly exposed to environmental carcinogens, were tested for the presence of this mutation. None of ten primary bladder carcinomas exhibited the mutation; nor did nine colon carcinomas or ten carcinomas of the lung. Thus the point mutation affecting the 12th amino acid of the c-Ha-ras gene product, while a valuable model for carcinogenesis, does not appear to play a role in the development of most human epithelial cancers of the bladder, colon, or lung.
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