Clinical and pathological associations of the activating RAC1 P29S mutation in primary cutaneous melanoma Academic Article uri icon


  • Activating mutations in the GTPase RAC1 are a recurrent event in cutaneous melanoma. We investigated the clinical and pathological associations of RAC1(P29S) in a cohort of 814 primary cutaneous melanomas with known BRAF and NRAS mutation status. The RAC1(P29S) mutation had a prevalence of 3.3% and was associated with increased thickness (OR=1.6 P = 0.001), increased mitotic rate (OR=1.3 P = 0.03), ulceration (OR=2.4 P = 0.04), nodular subtype (OR=3.4 P = 0.004), and nodal disease at diagnosis (OR=3.3 P = 0.006). BRAF mutant tumors were also associated with nodal metastases (OR=1.9 P = 0.004), despite being thinner at diagnosis than BRAF WT (median 1.2 mm versus 1.6 mm, P < 0.001). Immunohistochemical analysis of 51 melanomas revealed that 47% were immunoreactive for RAC1. Melanomas were more likely to show RAC1 immunoreactivity if they were BRAF mutant (OR=5.2 P = 0.01). RAC1 may therefore be important in regulating the early migration of BRAF mutant tumors. RAC1 mutations are infrequent in primary melanomas but may accelerate disease progression.


publication date

  • 2014