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Antisense treatment directed against mutated Ki-ras in human colorectal adenocarcinoma
  1. H J N Andreyev*,a,b,
  2. P J Ross*,a,b,
  3. D Cunninghama,
  4. P A Clarkeb
  1. aDepartment of Medicine, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK, bCancer Research Campaign Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey, UK
  1. Dr PA Clarke, Haddow Laboratories, CRC Centre for Cancer Therapeutics, Institute of Cancer Research, 15 Cotswold Rd, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5NG, UK. clarke{at}


BACKGROUND Kirsten ras (Ki-ras) mutations are common in gastrointestinal cancer and one codon 12 mutation, glycine to valine, is particularly aggressive in colorectal cancer.

AIMS To investigate if this valine point mutation could be targeted with antisense oligonucleotides and to determine the efficacy of any antisense/mRNA interaction.

METHODS Twenty nine antisense oligonucleotides were screened against target and control Ki-ras RNA in a cell free system and against target and control cell lines in culture.

RESULTS The activity and specificity of the oligonucleotides varied. Results for the individual oligonucleotides were consistent in a cell free model and in cell culture using two different uptake promoters. Only one oligonucleotide was specific in its cleavage of target Ki-ras mRNA in the cell free system and appeared specific in cell culture, although changes in Ki-ras mRNA and protein expression following a single treatment could not be detected. Experiments in the cell free system showed that the point mutation is relatively inaccessible to oligonucleotides. Other sites on the Ki-ras RNA molecule, away from the point mutation, can be targeted more effectively.

CONCLUSIONS Successful targeting of the clinically relevant Ki-ras point mutation with antisense oligonucleotides is difficult because of RNA structure at the mutated site and is inefficient compared with other sites on the Ki-ras mRNA.

  • Ki-ras mutation
  • antisense treatment
  • colorectal carcinoma

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