Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 December 2016, last major update January 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: BRAF[title]
Cite this page: BRAF. website. Accessed April 24th, 2017.
Definition / General
  • Serine / threonine specific protein kinase, part of the RAS / MAPK pathway regulating the growth, maturation, proliferation, survival and apoptosis of cells
  • Abbreviation for v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1
  • Gene commonly mutated in papillary thyroid carcinoma and melanoma
  • V600E mutation (valine at residue 600 replaced by glutamic acid) renders BRAF constitutively active and increases its kinase activity (Nature 2002;417:949)
Diagrams / Tables

MAPK signaling pathway

Clinical Features
  • The drug Vemurafenib / Zelboraf®, used to treat melanoma, interrupts the BRAF / MEK / ERK pathway, only when BRAF has the V600E mutation (valine replaced by glutamic acid)
Uses by Pathologists
Micro Images
Images hosted on PathOut server:

Courtesy of Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.

V600E mutant protein is diffusely expresed in tumor / cancer, but not normal tissue

Diffuse cytoplasmic staining

Images hosted on other servers:

Prevalence of BRAF mutations
in different histologic variants
of thyroid papillary carcinoma

Negative Stains
Molecular / Cytogenetics Description
Molecular / Cytogenetics Images
Images hosted on other servers:

BRAF melting curves

Images hosted on

Chromatograms in Spitz nevus (left) and diffuse sclerosing papillary thyroid carcinoma (right)

Mass spectrometry traces for BRAF mutation