SRSF3, a splicer of the PKM gene, regulates cell growth and maintenance of cancer-specific energy metabolism in colon cancer cells

Yuki Kuranaga, Nobuhiko Sugito, Haruka Shinohara, Takuya Tsujino, Kohei Taniguchi, Kazumasa Komura, Yuko Ito, Tomoyoshi Soga, Yukihiro Akao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


Serine and arginine rich splicing factor 3 (SRSF3), an SR-rich family protein, has an oncogenic function in various kinds of cancer. However, the detailed mechanism of the function had not been previously clarified. Here, we showed that the SRSF3 splicer regulated the expression profile of the pyruvate kinase, which is one of the rate-limiting enzymes in glycolysis. Most cancer cells express pyruvate kinase muscle 2 (PKM2) dominantly to maintain a glycolysis-dominant energy metabolism. Overexpression of SRSF3, as well as that of another splicer, polypyrimidine tract binding protein 1 (PTBP1) and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1), in clinical cancer samples supported the notion that these proteins decreased the Pyruvate kinase muscle 1 (PKM1)/PKM2 ratio, which positively contributed to a glycolysis-dominant metabolism. The silencing of SRSF3 in human colon cancer cells induced a marked growth inhibition in both in vitro and in vivo experiments and caused an increase in the PKM1/PKM2 ratio, thus resulting in a metabolic shift from glycolysis to oxidative phosphorylation. At the same time, the silenced cells were induced to undergo autophagy. SRSF3 contributed to PKM mRNA splicing by co-operating with PTBP1 and hnRNPA1, which was validated by the results of RNP immunoprecipitation (RIP) and immunoprecipitation (IP) experiments. These findings altogether indicated that SRSF3 as a PKM splicer played a positive role in cancer-specific energy metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3012
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Oct 2


  • Alternative splicing
  • Energy metabolism
  • Oncogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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