Oncogenesis driven by the Ras/Raf pathway requires the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9

Bing Yu, Stephen Swatkoski, Alesia Holly, Liam C. Lee, Valentin Giroux, Chih Shia Lee, Dennis Hsu, Jordan L. Smith, Garmen Yuen, Junqiu Yue, David K. Ann, R. Mark Simpson, Chad J. Creighton, William D. Figg, Marjan Gucek, Ji Luo*, Thomas M. Roberts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The small GTPase KRAS is frequently mutated in human cancer and currently there are no targeted therapies for KRAS mutant tumors. Here, we show that the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) pathway is required for KRAS-driven transformation. RNAi depletion of the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9 suppresses 3D growth of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer cells in vitro and attenuates tumor growth in vivo. In KRAS mutant cells, a subset of proteins exhibit elevated levels of SUMOylation. Among these proteins, KAP1, CHD1, and EIF3L collectively support anchorage-independent growth, and the SUMOylation of KAP1 is necessary for its activity in this context. Thus, the SUMO pathway critically contributes to the transformed phenotype of KRAS mutant cells and Ubc9 presents a potential target for the treatment of KRAS mutant colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1724-E1733
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - 7 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • KRAS
  • SUMO
  • Transformation
  • Ubc9


Dive into the research topics of 'Oncogenesis driven by the Ras/Raf pathway requires the SUMO E2 ligase Ubc9'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this