Intracellular antioxidant enzymes are critical for maintenance of redox homeostasis, but whether and how they contribute to the malignancy of cancer cells remains poorly understood. Sulfiredoxin (Srx) is a unique oxidoreductase in that it not only restores peroxidase activity of peroxiredoxins (Prxs) but also functions as a pivotal stimulator of oncogenic signaling. We found that abnormally high level of Srx promotes colorectal cancer (CRC) malignancy by stimulating gelatin degradation, invadopodia formation, and cell invasion. Fascin, an actin-bundling protein, was discovered and validated as one of the critical downstream targets of Srx activation. We demonstrated that depletion of Srx in CRC cells leads to upregulation of miR-143-3p, which mediates degradation of fascin mRNA through binding to conserved sites within the 39 untranslated region (UTR). Depletion of fascin in CRC cells recapitulates the effect of Srx loss, and restoration of fascin in Srx-depleted cells by miR-143-3p inhibitor or overexpression rescues defects in cell invasion. Therefore, our data demonstrate that the Srx-miR143-fascin axis plays a key role in promoting the malignancy of human CRC cells. In the future, the Srx-miR143-fascin axis can be used as a functional pathway to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic drugs or be targeted to develop promising chemotherapeutics for treatment of CRC patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • Antioxidant
  • Enzyme mechanism
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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