The RasGAP gene, RASAL2, is a tumor and metastasis suppressor

Cancer Cell. 2013 Sep 9;24(3):365-78. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2013.08.004.


RAS genes are commonly mutated in cancer; however, RAS mutations are rare in breast cancer, despite frequent hyperactivation of Ras and ERK. Here, we report that the RasGAP gene, RASAL2, functions as a tumor and metastasis suppressor. RASAL2 is mutated or suppressed in human breast cancer, and RASAL2 ablation promotes tumor growth, progression, and metastasis in mouse models. In human breast cancer, RASAL2 loss is associated with metastatic disease; low RASAL2 levels correlate with recurrence of luminal B tumors; and RASAL2 ablation promotes metastasis of luminal mouse tumors. Additional data reveal a broader role for RASAL2 inactivation in other tumor types. These studies highlight the expanding role of RasGAPs and reveal an alternative mechanism of activating Ras in cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Genes, p53
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / metabolism
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins / genetics*
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • RASAL2 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • ras GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)