Interaction of the EGF Receptor and the Hippo Pathway in the Diabetic Kidney.
ABSTRACT: Activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR) or the Hippo signaling pathway can control cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation, and the dysregulation of these pathways can contribute to tumorigenesis. Previous studies showed that activation of EGFR signaling in renal epithelial cells can exacerbate diabetic kidney injury. Moreover, EGFR has been implicated in regulating the Hippo signaling pathway in Drosophila; thus, we examined this potential interaction in mammalian diabetic kidney disease. Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a transcriptional regulator regulated by the Hippo signaling pathway. We found YAP protein expression and phosphorylation were upregulated in diabetic mouse renal proximal tubule epithelial cells, which were inhibited in diabetic proximal tubule EGFR-knockout mice (EGFR(ptKO)) or administration of an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor erlotinib. Furthermore, activation of an EGFR-PI3K-Akt-CREB signaling pathway mediated YAP gene expression and YAP nuclear translocation and interaction with the TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factor complex, which led to upregulated expression of two TEAD-dependent genes, the connective tissue growth factor and amphiregulin genes. In a renal proximal tubule cell line, either pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of EGFR, Akt, or CREB blunted YAP expression in response to high-glucose treatment. Additionally, knocking down YAP expression by specific siRNA inhibited cell proliferation in response to high glucose or exogenous EGF. Therefore, these results link the Hippo pathway to EGFR-mediated renal epithelial injury in diabetes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increasing evidence indicates that renal recovery from AKI stems from dedifferentiation and proliferation of surviving tubule epithelial cells. Both EGF receptor (EGFR) and the Hippo signaling pathway are implicated in cell proliferation and differentiation, and previous studies showed that activation of EGFR in renal proximal tubule epithelial cells (RPTCs) plays a critical role in recovery from ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). In this study, we explored RPTC activation of Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ binding motif (TAZ), two key downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, and their potential involvement in recovery from AKI. METHODS:We used immunofluorescence to examine YAP expression in kidney biopsy samples from patients with clinical AKI and controls (patients with minimal change disease). Studies of RPTC activation of YAP and TAZ used cultured human RPTCs that were exposed to hypoxia-reoxygenation as well as knockout mice (with inducible deletions of Yap, Taz, or both occurring specifically in RPTCs) that were subjected to bilateral IRI. RESULTS:YAP was activated in RPTCs in kidneys from post-AKI patients and post-IRI mouse kidneys. Inhibition of the interaction of YAP and the TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factor complex by verteporfin or conditional deletion of YAP in RPTCs delayed renal functional and structural recovery from IRI, whereas TAZ deletion had no effect. Activation of the EGFR-PI3K-Akt pathway in response to IRI signaled YAP activation, which promoted cell cycle progression. CONCLUSIONS:This study shows that EGFR-PI3K-Akt-dependent YAP activation plays an essential role in mediating epithelial cell regeneration during kidney recovery from AKI.
Project description:To investigate the role of Hippo pathway signaling during vertebrate development transgenic zebrafish lines were generated and validated to dynamically monitor and manipulate Yap/Taz-Tead activity. Spatial and temporal analysis of Yap/Taz-Tead activity suggested the importance of Hippo signaling during cardiac precursor migration and other developmental processes. When the transcriptional co-activators, Yap and Taz were restricted from interacting with DNA-binding Tead transcription factors through expression of a dominant negative transgene, cardiac precursors failed to migrate completely to the midline resulting in strong cardia bifida. Yap/Taz-Tead activity reporters also allowed us to investigate upstream and downstream factors known to regulate Hippo signaling output in Drosophila. While Crumbs mutations in Drosophila eye disc epithelia increase nuclear translocation and activity of Yorkie (the fly homolog of Yap/Taz), zebrafish crb2a mutants lacked nuclear Yap positive cells and down-regulated Yap/Taz-Tead activity reporters in the eye epithelia, despite the loss of apical-basal cell polarity in those cells. However, as an example of evolutionary conservation, the Tondu-domain containing protein Vestigial-like 4b (Vgll4b) was found to down-regulate endogenous Yap/Taz-Tead activity in the retinal pigment epithelium, similar to Drosophila Tgi in imaginal discs. In conclusion, the Yap/Taz-Tead activity reporters revealed the dynamics of Yap/Taz-Tead signaling and novel insights into Hippo pathway regulation for vertebrates. These studies highlight the utility of this transgenic tool-suite for ongoing analysis into the mechanisms of Hippo pathway regulation and the consequences of signaling output.
Project description:The Hippo pathway has emerged as a key signaling pathway that regulates a broad range of biological functions, and dysregulation of the Hippo pathway is a feature of a variety of cancers. Given this, some have suggested that disrupting the interaction of the Hippo core component YAP and its paralog TAZ with transcriptional factor TEAD may be an effective strategy for cancer therapy. However, there are currently no clinically available drugs targeting the YAP/TAZ-TEAD interaction for cancer treatment. To facilitate screens for small molecule compounds that disrupt the YAP-TEAD interaction, we have developed the first ultra-bright NanoLuc biosensor to quantify YAP/TAZ-TEAD protein-protein interaction (PPI) both in living cells and also in vitro using biosensor fusion proteins purified from bacteria. Using this biosensor, we have performed an in vitro high throughput screen (HTS) of small molecule compounds and have identified and validated the drug Celastrol as a novel inhibitor of YAP/TAZ-TEAD interaction. We have also demonstrated that Celastrol can inhibit cancer cell proliferation, transformation, and cell migration. In this study, we describe a new inhibitor of the YAP/TAZ-TEAD interaction warranting further investigation and offer a novel biosensor tool for the discovery of other new Hippo-targeting drugs in future work.
Project description:The Hippo pathway is a critical transcriptional signaling pathway that regulates cell growth, proliferation and organ development. The transcriptional enhanced associate domain (TEAD) protein family consists of four paralogous transcription factors that function to modulate gene expression in response to the Hippo signaling pathway. Transcriptional activation of these proteins occurs upon binding to the co-activator YAP/TAZ whose entry into the nucleus is regulated by Lats1/2 kinase. In recent years, it has become apparent that the dysregulation and/or overexpression of Hippo pathway effectors is implicated in a wide range of cancers, including prostate, gastric and liver cancer. A large body of work has been dedicated to understanding the therapeutic potential of modulating the phosphorylation and localization of YAP/TAZ. However, YAP/TAZ are considered to be natively unfolded and may be intractable as drug targets. Therefore, TEAD proteins present themselves as an excellent therapeutic target for intervention of the Hippo pathway. This review summarizes the functional role of TEAD proteins in cancer and assesses the therapeutic potential of antagonizing TEAD function in vivo.
Project description:Transcriptional enhanced associate domain (TEAD) transcription factors play important roles during development, cell proliferation, regeneration, and tissue homeostasis. TEAD integrates with and coordinates various signal transduction pathways including Hippo, Wnt, transforming growth factor beta (TGF?), and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) pathways. TEAD deregulation affects well-established cancer genes such as KRAS, BRAF, LKB1, NF2, and MYC, and its transcriptional output plays an important role in tumor progression, metastasis, cancer metabolism, immunity, and drug resistance. To date, TEADs have been recognized to be key transcription factors of the Hippo pathway. Therefore, most studies are focused on the Hippo kinases and YAP/TAZ, whereas the Hippo-dependent and Hippo-independent regulators and regulations governing TEAD only emerged recently. Deregulation of the TEAD transcriptional output plays important roles in tumor progression and serves as a prognostic biomarker due to high correlation with clinicopathological parameters in human malignancies. In addition, discovering the molecular mechanisms of TEAD, such as post-translational modifications and nucleocytoplasmic shuttling, represents an important means of modulating TEAD transcriptional activity. Collectively, this review highlights the role of TEAD in multistep-tumorigenesis by interacting with upstream oncogenic signaling pathways and controlling downstream target genes, which provides unprecedented insight and rationale into developing TEAD-targeted anticancer therapeutics.
Project description:The Hippo signaling pathway is involved in the pathophysiology of various cardiovascular diseases. Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional enhancer activator domain (TEAD) transcriptional factors, the main transcriptional complex of the Hippo pathway, were recently identified as modulators of phenotypic switching of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, the intrinsic regulator of YAP/TEAD-mediated gene expressions involved in vascular pathophysiology remains to be elucidated. Here, we identified Homeobox A4 (HOXA4) as a potent repressor of YAP/TEAD transcriptional activity using lentiviral shRNA screen. Mechanistically, HOXA4 interacts with TEADs and attenuates YAP/TEAD-mediated transcription by competing with YAP for TEAD binding. We also clarified that the expression of HOXA4 is relatively abundant in the vasculature, especially in VSMCs. In vitro experiments in human VSMCs showed HOXA4 maintains the differentiation state of VSMCs via inhibition of YAP/TEAD-induced phenotypic switching. We generated Hoxa4-deficient mice and confirmed the downregulation of smooth muscle-specific contractile genes and the exacerbation of vascular remodeling after carotid artery ligation in vivo. Our results demonstrate that HOXA4 is a repressor of VSMC phenotypic switching by inhibiting YAP/TEAD-mediated transcription.
Project description:The Hippo pathway controls organ size and tissue homeostasis, with deregulation leading to cancer. The core Hippo components in mammals are composed of the upstream serine/threonine kinases Mst1/2, MAPK4Ks and Lats1/2. Inactivation of these upstream kinases leads to dephosphorylation, stabilization, nuclear translocation and thus activation of the major functional transducers of the Hippo pathway, YAP and its paralogue TAZ. YAP/TAZ are transcription co-activators that regulate gene expression primarily through interaction with the TEA domain DNA-binding family of transcription factors (TEAD). The current paradigm for regulation of this pathway centres on phosphorylation-dependent nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of YAP/TAZ through a complex network of upstream components. However, unlike other transcription factors, such as SMAD, NF-?B, NFAT and STAT, the regulation of TEAD nucleocytoplasmic shuttling has been largely overlooked. In the present study, we show that environmental stress promotes TEAD cytoplasmic translocation via p38 MAPK in a Hippo-independent manner. Importantly, stress-induced TEAD inhibition predominates YAP-activating signals and selectively suppresses YAP-driven cancer cell growth. Our data reveal a mechanism governing TEAD nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and show that TEAD localization is a critical determinant of Hippo signalling output.
Project description:TEAD (TEA/ATTS domain) transcription factors are the most distal effectors of the Hippo pathway. YAP (Yes-associated protein) is a coactivator protein which, upon binding to TEAD proteins, stimulates their transcriptional activity. Since the Hippo pathway is deregulated in various cancers, designing inhibitors of the YAP:TEAD interaction is an attractive therapeutic strategy for oncology. Understanding the molecular events that take place at the YAP:TEAD interface is therefore important not only to devise drug discovery approaches, but also to gain knowledge on TEAD regulation. In this report, combining single site-directed mutagenesis and double mutant analyses, we conduct a detailed analysis on the role of several residues located at the YAP:TEAD interface. Our results provide quantitative understanding of the interactions taking place at the YAP:TEAD interface and give insights into the formation of the YAP:TEAD complex and more particularly on the interaction between TEAD and the ?-loop found in YAP.
Project description:YAP (Yes-associated protein) is a transcription co-activator in the Hippo tumour suppressor pathway and controls cell growth, tissue homeostasis and organ size. YAP is inhibited by the kinase Lats, which phosphorylates YAP to induce its cytoplasmic localization and proteasomal degradation. YAP induces gene expression by binding to the TEAD family transcription factors. Dysregulation of the Hippo-YAP pathway is frequently observed in human cancers. Here we show that cellular energy stress induces YAP phosphorylation, in part due to AMPK-dependent Lats activation, thereby inhibiting YAP activity. Moreover, AMPK directly phosphorylates YAP Ser 94, a residue essential for the interaction with TEAD, thus disrupting the YAP-TEAD interaction. AMPK-induced YAP inhibition can suppress oncogenic transformation of Lats-null cells with high YAP activity. Our study establishes a molecular mechanism and functional significance of AMPK in linking cellular energy status to the Hippo-YAP pathway.
Project description:The Hippo signaling pathway regulates cellular proliferation and survival, thus exerting profound effects on normal cell fate and tumorigenesis. We previously showed that the pivotal effector of this pathway, YAP, is amplified in tumors and promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and malignant transformation. Here, we report that overexpression of TAZ, a paralog of YAP, in human mammary epithelial cells promotes EMT and, in particular, some invasive structures in 3D cultures. TAZ also leads to cell migration and anchorage-independent growth in soft agar. Furthermore, we identified amphiregulin (AREG), an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand, as a target of TAZ. We show that AREG functions in a non-cell-autonomous manner to mediate EGF-independent growth and malignant behavior of mammary epithelial cells. In addition, ablation of TEAD binding completely abolishes the TAZ-induced phenotype. Last, analysis of breast cancer patient samples reveals a positive correlation between TAZ and AREG in vivo. In summary, TAZ-dependent secretion of AREG indicates that activation of the EGFR signaling is an important non-cell-autonomous effector of the Hippo pathway, and TAZ as well as its targets may play significant roles in breast tumorigenesis and metastasis.