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Reviewed July 2012
What is the official name of the HRAS gene?
The official name of this gene is “Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog.”
HRAS is the gene's official symbol. The HRAS gene is also known by other names, listed below.
Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.
What is the normal function of the HRAS gene?
The HRAS gene provides instructions for making a protein called H-Ras that is involved primarily in regulating cell division. Through a process known as signal transduction, the H-Ras protein relays signals from outside the cell to the cell's nucleus. These signals instruct the cell to grow or divide. The H-Ras protein is a GTPase, which means it converts a molecule called GTP into another molecule called GDP. The H-Ras protein acts like a switch, and it is turned on and off by GTP and GDP molecules. To transmit signals, the protein must be turned on by attaching (binding) to a molecule of GTP. The H-Ras protein is turned off (inactivated) when it converts GTP to GDP. When the protein is bound to GDP, it does not relay signals to the cell's nucleus.
The HRAS gene belongs to a class of genes known as oncogenes. When mutated, oncogenes have the potential to cause normal cells to become cancerous. The HRAS gene is in the Ras family of oncogenes, which also includes two other genes: KRAS and NRAS. The proteins produced from these three genes are GTPases. These proteins play important roles in cell division, the process by which cells mature to carry out specific functions (cell differentiation), and the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis).
How are changes in the HRAS gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, which is also associated with changes in the HRAS gene.
Where is the HRAS gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 11p15.5
Molecular Location on chromosome 11: base pairs 532,242 to 535,561
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The HRAS gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 11 at position 15.5.
More precisely, the HRAS gene is located from base pair 532,242 to base pair 535,561 on chromosome 11.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about HRAS?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about HRAS helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for the HRAS gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
Where can I find general information about genes?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding HRAS?
acids ; amino acid ; apoptosis ; cancer ; carcinoma ; cell ; cell division ; class ; critical region ; differentiation ; disability ; gene ; glycine ; GTP ; inherited ; kidney ; molecule ; mutation ; nucleus ; oncogene ; progression ; protein ; RAS ; sarcoma ; serine ; signal transduction ; syndrome ; thyroid ; transduction ; transformation ; tumor ; valine ; virus
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (13 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.