Control of tissue growth and cell transformation by the Salvador/Warts/Hippo pathway

Xiaomeng Zhang, Felix A. Grusche, Kieran F. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Salvador-Warts-Hippo (SWH) pathway is an important regulator of tissue growth that is frequently subverted in human cancer. The key oncoprotein of the SWH pathway is the transcriptional co-activator, Yes-associated protein (YAP). YAP promotes tissue growth and transformation of cultured cells by interacting with transcriptional regulatory proteins via its WW domains, or, in the case of the TEAD1-4 transcription factors, an N-terminal binding domain. YAP possesses a putative transactivation domain in its C-terminus that is necessary to stimulate transcription factors in vitro, but its requirement for YAP function has not been investigated in detail. Interestingly, whilst the WW domains and TEAD-binding domain are highly conserved in the Drosophila melanogaster YAP orthologue, Yorkie, the majority of the C-terminal region of YAP is not present in Yorkie. To investigate this apparent conundrum, we assessed the functional roles of the YAP and Yorkie C-termini. We found that these regions were not required for Yorkie's ability to drive tissue growth in vivo, or YAP's ability to promote anchorage-independent growth or resistance to contact inhibition. However, the YAP transactivation domain was required for YAP's ability to induce cell migration and invasion. Moreover, a role for the YAP transactivation domain in cell transformation was uncovered when the YAP WW domains were mutated together with the transactivation domain. This shows that YAP can promote cell transformation in a flexible manner, presumably by contacting transcriptional regulatory proteins either via its WW domains or its transactivation domain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere31994
Number of pages9
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this