The Ras family GTPases are frequently mutated in cancer and affect a variety of cancer-driving processes. H-Ras, N-Ras, and K-Ras were the first human oncogenes discovered in tumors more than 30 years ago and are the founding members of the wide Ras gene superfamily. The unique properties of Ras isoforms, and of particular activating mutations, may distinctly affect the process of neoplastic transformation in different tissues.
Oncogenic Ras modulates the tumor microenvironment by promoting pro-angiogenic mechanisms and by altering host-mediated immune responses. Transformation by Ras can also promote changes in motility and cellular adhesion, leading to the acquisition of invasive and metastatic properties of cancer cells.