The EIF3H-HAX1 axis increases RAF-MEK-ERK signaling activity to promote colorectal cancer progression

Nat Commun. 2024 Mar 21;15(1):2551. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-46521-3.


Eukaryotic initiation translation factor 3 subunit h (EIF3H) plays critical roles in regulating translational initiation and predicts poor cancer prognosis, but the mechanism underlying EIF3H tumorigenesis remains to be further elucidated. Here, we report that EIF3H is overexpressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) and correlates with poor prognosis. Conditional Eif3h deletion suppresses colorectal tumorigenesis in AOM/DSS model. Mechanistically, EIF3H functions as a deubiquitinase for HAX1 and stabilizes HAX1 via antagonizing βTrCP-mediated ubiquitination, which enhances the interaction between RAF1, MEK1 and ERK1, thereby potentiating phosphorylation of ERK1/2. In addition, activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling induces EIF3H expression. EIF3H/HAX1 axis promotes CRC tumorigenesis and metastasis in mouse orthotopic cancer model. Significantly, combined targeting Wnt and RAF1-ERK1/2 signaling synergistically inhibits tumor growth in EIF3H-high patient-derived xenografts. These results uncover the important roles of EIF3H in mediating CRC progression through regulating HAX1 and RAF1-ERK1/2 signaling. EIF3H represents a promising therapeutic target and prognostic marker in CRC.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3 / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Mice
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway


  • Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinases
  • HAX1 protein, human
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing