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An oncogene product isolated from the Kirsten strain of the murine sarcoma virus was subsequently found to have a human homologue. Kirsten and Mayer described the eponymously named virus in 1967.[1]

Cellular G-protein-linked signalling protein. The protein is also referred to as p21ras. It is a proto-oncogene in that the wild-type protein product serves a physiological role, but mutations result in an oncogene due to inappropriate celllular signalling.

K-ras is mutated in ~40% of colorectal cancers, most frequently with point mutation at codons 12, 13 and 61.[2] In patients with activating mutations of k-ras, upstream inhibition of EGFR signalling by cetuximab, panitumumab, gefitinib and erlotinib may be ineffective.