RHOA inactivation enhances Wnt signalling and promotes colorectal cancer

Paulo Rodrigues, Irati Macaya, Sarah Bazzocco, Rocco Mazzolini, Elena Andretta, Higinio Dopeso, Silvia Mateo-Lozano, Josipa Bilić, Fernando Cartón-García, Rocio Nieto, Lucia Suárez-López, Elsa Afonso, Stefania Landolfi, Javier Hernandez-Losa, Kazuto Kobayashi, Santiago Ramón Y. Cajal, Josep Tabernero, Niall C. Tebbutt, John M. Mariadason, Simo SchwartzDiego Arango

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67 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Activation of the small GTPase RHOA has strong oncogenic effects in many tumour types, although its role in colorectal cancer remains unclear. Here we show that RHOA inactivation contributes to colorectal cancer progression/metastasis, largely through the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling. RhoA inactivation in the murine intestine accelerates the tumorigenic process and in human colon cancer cells leads to the redistribution of β-catenin from the membrane to the nucleus and enhanced Wnt/β-catenin signalling, resulting in increased proliferation, invasion and de-differentiation. In mice, RHOA inactivation contributes to colon cancer metastasis and reduced RHOA levels were observed at metastatic sites compared with primary human colon tumours. Therefore, we have identified a new mechanism of activation of Wnt/β-catenin signalling and characterized the role of RHOA as a novel tumour suppressor in colorectal cancer. These results constitute a shift from the current paradigm and demonstrate that RHO GTPases can suppress tumour progression and metastasis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5458
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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