KRAS: Cancer Mutation

Use real genomic data to find mutations in a gene associated with pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancers. 

This activity allows you to take a closer look at the changes that occur in the sequence of DNA during cancer. You will search for mutations within the KRAS gene and find out how these mutations alter the resulting protein produced. By modelling the protein in a 3D program you will see how the protein is affected and why it leads to tumours developing.

All cancers result from changes, or mutations, in the DNA sequence of our genome. These mutations cause cells to divide in an uncontrolled way. This can be by cutting off the activity of genes that normally stop the cell dividing, or, by permanently turning on genes that promote cell division. The result is a growing mass of cells, called a tumour. Mutations in the KRAS gene are present in many cancers, including pancreatic cancer.

The activity is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation to introduce you to the biology of cancer, what it is and how it develops. It will also tell you about how genomic research is helping to improve our understanding of the disease and develop new treatments. 

Age: 17 - 18 years (AS, A2 Level)

This page was last updated on 2014-11-17