Using synthetic oligomers we investigated fresh samples of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) for the presence of mutated ras oncogenes. Our original results showed that five of eight samples contained a mutation in codon 13 of the N-ras gene. In a subsequent study involving 37 samples, we found only one N-ras-13 mutation, and, in addition, mutations in codon 61 of the N-ras gene in four cases and a mutation in codon 12 of the Ki-ras gene in two cases. Amplification of ras genes was not observed. We conclude that in approximately 20% to 25% of AML cases, a mutated ras oncogene is present, predominantly the N-ras gene. The occurrence of mutations does not correlate with the cytological features of the leukemia.

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