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Reviewed December 2014
What is the official name of the NRAS gene?
The official name of this gene is “neuroblastoma RAS viral (v-ras) oncogene homolog.”
NRAS is the gene's official symbol. The NRAS 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 NRAS gene?
The NRAS gene provides instructions for making a protein called N-Ras that is involved primarily in regulating cell division. Through a process known as signal transduction, the protein relays signals from outside the cell to the cell's nucleus. These signals instruct the cell to grow and divide (proliferate) or to mature and take on specialized functions (differentiate). The N-Ras protein is a GTPase, which means it converts a molecule called GTP into another molecule called GDP. The N-Ras protein acts like a switch, and it is turned on and off by the GTP and GDP molecules. To transmit signals, the N-Ras protein must be turned on by attaching (binding) to a molecule of GTP. The N-Ras protein is turned off (inactivated) when it converts the GTP to GDP. When the protein is bound to GDP, it does not relay signals to the cell's nucleus.
The NRAS gene belongs to a class of genes known as oncogenes. When mutated, oncogenes have the potential to cause normal cells to become cancerous. The NRAS gene is in the Ras family of oncogenes, which also includes two other genes: HRAS and KRAS. The proteins produced from these three genes are GTPases. These proteins play important roles in cell division, cell differentiation, and the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis).
How are changes in the NRAS gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides additional information about these conditions associated with changes in the NRAS gene:
Where is the NRAS gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: 1p13.2
Molecular Location on chromosome 1: base pairs 114,704,464 to 114,716,894
(Homo sapiens Annotation Release 107, GRCh38.p2) (
The NRAS gene is located on the short (p) arm of chromosome 1 at position 13.2.
More precisely, the NRAS gene is located from base pair 114,704,464 to base pair 114,716,894 on chromosome 1.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about NRAS?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about NRAS 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 NRAS 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 NRAS?
acids ; acute ; acute myeloid leukemia ; amino acid ; apoptosis ; arginine ; autoimmune ; cancer ; cell ; cell division ; class ; congenital ; differentiation ; embryonic ; gene ; glutamine ; GTP ; inherited ; leukemia ; lysine ; melanocytes ; melanoma ; molecule ; myeloid ; nucleus ; oncogene ; pigment ; precursor ; proliferate ; protein ; RAS ; short stature ; signal transduction ; stature ; syndrome ; transduction
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (6 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.