Background: RAS gene activation and its association with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection have been extensively studied in various cancers. However, the correlation between RAS mutations and HPV in keratoacanthoma (KA) has not yet been investigated. Methods: Detection of HPV DNA was performed by nested polymerase chain reaction in 28 KA specimens. Molecular analysis was also performed to identify oncogenic mutations (HRAS, KRAS, NRAS). Statistical analyses were performed using the Fisher's exact tests. Results: HPV DNA was detected in eight (28.6%) of the 28 samples, and RAS mutations were detected in eight (28.6%). Six samples had an HRAS mutation, and two showed the NRAS mutation. The presence of an RAS mutation was significantly correlated with a history of chronic sun damage (P = 0.005). However, no significant correlation was observed between HPV infection and RAS mutation. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that mutational activation of the RAS gene is a common event in KA. However, RAS oncogene activation and HPV infection seem to represent two independent factors in the development of KA.
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