• liver angiosarcoma;
  • K-ras-2;
  • vinyl chloride


Vinyl chloride (VC) is a potent liver carcinogen that induces angiosarcomas in humans and animals. Recent evidence shows that liver tumors from patients with VC exposure may have a specific K-ras mutation pattern. This study was performed to determine the status of K-ras-2 in liver angiosarcomas (LAS) from workers occupationally exposed to VC. We examined the presence of K-ras-2 mutations in 15 LAS from patients with known exposure to VC (median exposure: 8,260 ppm [range 3,900– 21,000 ppm]]. In all cases, other risk factors for the development of LAS were excluded. Direct DNA sequencing after microdissection of the tumor cells was used for the analysis. Heterozygous mutations of K-ras-2 were detected in 8/15 LAS (53%). Five patients (33%) had a mutation of codon 12 and three of codon 13 (20%). The most common changes were G[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]A transitions in five LAS which lead to the substitution of aspartic acid for glycine in the resulting p21 protein. In two patients (13%), mutations of the K-ras-2 gene were identified in the adjacent nonneoplastic liver tissue. These data indicate that VC induces a high frequency of G[RIGHTWARDS ARROW]A transitions in human LAS. This mutation pattern is likely a consequence of VC-DNA-adduct formation. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 40:36–40, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.