ARTICLE ABSTRACTPurpose: Cancer cells have been shown to be more susceptible to Ran knockdown than normal cells. We now investigate whether Ran is a potential therapeutic target of cancers with frequently found mutations that lead to higher Ras/MEK/ERK [mitogen-activated protein/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK; MEK)] and phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mTORC1 activities.Experimental Design: Apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry [propidium iodide (PI) and Annexin V staining] and MTT assay in cancer cells grown under different conditions after knockdown of Ran. The correlations between Ran expression and patient survival were examined in breast and lung cancers.Results: Cancer cells with their PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways inhibited are less susceptible to Ran silencing–induced apoptosis. K-Ras–mutated, c-Met–amplified, and Pten-deleted cancer cells are also more susceptible to Ran silencing–induced apoptosis than their wild-type counterparts and this effect is reduced by inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and MEK/ERK pathways. Overexpression of Ran in clinical specimens is significantly associated with poor patient outcome in both breast and lung cancers. This association is dramatically enhanced in cancers with increased c-Met or osteopontin expression, or with oncogenic mutations of K-Ras or PIK3CA, all of which are mutations that potentially correlate with activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and/or Ras/MEK/ERK pathways. Silencing Ran also results in dysregulation of nucleocytoplasmic transport of transcription factors and downregulation of Mcl-1 expression, at the transcriptional level, which are reversed by inhibitors of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and MEK/ERK pathways.Conclusion: Ran is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of cancers with mutations/changes of expression in protooncogenes that lead to activation of the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 and Ras/MEK/ERK pathways. Clin Cancer Res; 18(2); 380–91. ©2011 AACR.