Available structures
PDBOrtholog search: PDBe RCSB
AliasesNRAS, ALPS4, CMNS, N-ras, NCMS, NRAS1, NS6, Neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog, NRAS proto-oncogene, GTPase
External IDsOMIM: 164790 MGI: 97376 HomoloGene: 55661 GeneCards: NRAS
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC)Chr 1: 114.7 – 114.72 MbChr 3: 102.97 – 102.98 Mb
PubMed search[3][4]
View/Edit HumanView/Edit Mouse

NRAS is an enzyme that in humans is encoded by the NRAS gene. It was discovered by a small team of researchers led by Robin Weiss at the Institute of Cancer Research in London.[5][6] It was the third RAS gene to be discovered, and was named NRAS, for its initial identification in human neuroblastoma cells.


The N-ras proto-oncogene is a member of the Ras gene family. It is mapped on chromosome 1, and it is activated in HL60, a promyelocytic leukemia line. The order of nearby genes is as follows: cen—CD2—NGFB—NRAS—tel.

The mammalian Ras gene family consists of the Harvey and Kirsten Ras genes (HRAS and KRAS), an inactive pseudogene of each (c-Hras2 and c-Kras1) and the N-Ras gene. They differ significantly only in the C-terminal 40 amino acids. These Ras genes have GTP/GDP binding and GTPase activity, and their normal function may be as G-like regulatory proteins involved in the normal control of cell growth.

The N-Ras gene specifies two main transcripts of 2 kb and 4.3 kb. The difference between the two transcripts is a simple extension through the termination site of the 2 kb transcript. The N-Ras gene consists of seven exons (-I, I, II, III, IV, V, VI). The smaller 2 kb transcript contains the VIa exon, and the larger 4.3 kb transcript contains the VIb exon which is just a longer form of the VIa exon. Both transcripts encode identical proteins as they differ only the 3′ untranslated region.[7]


Mutations which change amino acid residues 12, 13 or 61 activate the potential of N-ras to transform cultured cells and are implicated in a variety of human tumors[7] e.g. melanoma.

As a drug target

Binimetinib (MEK162) has had a phase III clinical trial for NRAS Q61 mutant melanoma.[8]


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000213281 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ a b c GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000027852 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. ^ "Mouse PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. ^ Marshall CJ, Hall A, Weiss RA (September 1982). "A transforming gene present in human sarcoma cell lines". Nature. 299 (5879): 171–3. Bibcode:1982Natur.299..171M. doi:10.1038/299171a0. PMID 6287287. S2CID 4342747.
  6. ^ Shimizu K, Goldfarb M, Perucho M, Wigler M (January 1983). "Isolation and preliminary characterization of the transforming gene of a human neuroblastoma cell line". PNAS. 80 (2): 383–7. Bibcode:1983PNAS...80..383S. doi:10.1073/pnas.80.2.383. PMC 393381. PMID 6300838.
  7. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: NRAS neuroblastoma RAS viral (v-ras) oncogene homolog".
  8. ^ Study Comparing the Efficacy of MEK162 Versus Dacarbazine in Unresectable or Metastatic NRAS Mutation-positive Melanoma

Further reading