Oncology Central

ROS1 fusions in cancer: a review


The ROS1 gene belongs to the sevenless subfamily of tyrosine kinase insulin receptor genes. A literature review identified a ROS1 fusion in 2.54% of the patients with lung adenocarcinoma and even higher frequencies in spitzoid neoplasms and inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors. At present, 26 genes were found to fuse with ROS1, some of them already known to fuse with RET and ALK. All the fusion proteins retain the ROS1 kinase domain, but rarely its transmembrane domain. Most of the partners have dimerization domains that are retained in the fusion, presumably leading to constitutive ROS1 tyrosine kinase activation. Some partners have transmembrane domains that are retained or not in the chimeric proteins. Therefore, different ROS1 fusions have distinct subcellular localization, suggesting that they may activate different substrates in vivo.

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