Does KRAS play a role in the regulation of colon cancer cells-derived exosomes?

Shu Kee Eng, Ilma Ruzni Imtiaz, Bey Hing Goh, Long Chiau Ming, Ya Chee Lim, Wai Leng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Exosomes are cell-derived nanovesicles, and lately, cancer-derived exosomes have been reported to carry KRAS protein, which contributes to the malignancy of many cancers. In this study, farnesylthiosalicylic acid (FTS) was used to inhibit the activities of mutated KRAS in colon cancer SW480 cells to discover the potential link between KRAS activities and cancer-derived exosomes. We observed that FTS inhibits KRAS activity in SW480 cells, but promotes their exosome production. When the exosomal proteins of SW480 cells were profiled, a total of 435 proteins were identified with 16 of them showing significant changes (greater than or equal to two-fold) in response to FTS treatment. Protein network analysis suggests KRAS inhibition may trigger stress in the cells. In addition, a high level of acetyl-coA synthetase family member 4 protein which plays an important role in colon cancer survival was identified in the exosomes secreted by FTS-treated SW480 cells. The uptake of these exosomes suppresses the growth of some cell types, but in general exosomes from FTS-treated cells enhance the recipient cell survival when compared to that of untreated cells. Together our findings suggest that FTS may trigger stress in SW480 cells, and induce more exosomes secretion as the survival messenger to mitigate the impact of KRAS inhibition in colon cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number58
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2021


  • ACSL4
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Farnesylthiosalicylic acid
  • KRAS
  • Proteomics
  • SW480

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