?E-catenin inhibits YAP/TAZ activity to regulate signalling centre formation during tooth development.
ABSTRACT: Embryonic signalling centres are specialized clusters of non-proliferating cells that direct the development of many organs. However, the mechanisms that establish these essential structures in mammals are not well understood. Here we report, using the murine incisor as a model, that ?E-catenin is essential for inhibiting nuclear YAP localization and cell proliferation. This function of ?E-catenin is required for formation of the tooth signalling centre, the enamel knot (EK), which maintains dental mesenchymal condensation and epithelial invagination. EK formation depends primarily on the signalling function of ?E-catenin through YAP and its homologue TAZ, as opposed to its adhesive function, and combined deletion of Yap and Taz rescues the EK defects caused by loss of ?E-catenin. These findings point to a developmental mechanism by which ?E-catenin restricts YAP/TAZ activity to establish a group of non-dividing and specialized cells that constitute a signalling centre.
Project description:The transcriptional co-activators YAP and TAZ are key regulators of organ size and tissue homeostasis, and their dysregulation contributes to human cancer. Here, we discover YAP/TAZ as bona fide downstream effectors of the alternative Wnt signaling pathway. Wnt5a/b and Wnt3a induce YAP/TAZ activation independent of canonical Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Mechanistically, we delineate the "alternative Wnt-YAP/TAZ signaling axis" that consists of Wnt-FZD/ROR-G?12/13-Rho GTPases-Lats1/2 to promote YAP/TAZ activation and TEAD-mediated transcription. YAP/TAZ mediate the biological functions of alternative Wnt signaling, including gene expression, osteogenic differentiation, cell migration, and antagonism of Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Together, our work establishes YAP/TAZ as critical mediators of alternative Wnt signaling.
Project description:Aggressive behaviours of solid tumours are highly influenced by the tumour microenvironment. Multiple signalling pathways can affect the normal function of stromal fibroblasts in tumours, but how these events are coordinated to generate tumour-promoting cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) is not well understood. Here we show that stromal expression of Dickkopf-3 (DKK3) is associated with aggressive breast, colorectal and ovarian cancers. We demonstrate that DKK3 is a HSF1 effector that modulates the pro-tumorigenic behaviour of CAFs in vitro and in vivo. DKK3 orchestrates a concomitant activation of ?-catenin and YAP/TAZ. Whereas ?-catenin is dispensable for CAF-mediated ECM remodelling, cancer cell growth and invasion, DKK3-driven YAP/TAZ activation is required to induce tumour-promoting phenotypes. Mechanistically, DKK3 in CAFs acts via canonical Wnt signalling by interfering with the negative regulator Kremen and increasing cell-surface levels of LRP6. This work reveals an unpredicted link between HSF1, Wnt signalling and YAP/TAZ relevant for the generation of tumour-promoting CAFs.
Project description:YAP and TAZ, the Hippo signal-regulated transcriptional co-activators, play crucial roles in morphogenesis and organogenesis. Here we report that the YAP/TAZ activities are stimulated upon complex formation with Parafibromin, which undergoes tyrosine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation by kinases such as PTK6 and phosphatases such as SHP2, respectively. Furthermore, TAZ and the Wnt effector ?-catenin interact cooperatively with tyrosine-dephosphorylated Parafibromin, which synergistically stimulates the co-activator functions of TAZ and ?-catenin. On the other hand, YAP is selectively activated through binding with tyrosine-phosphorylated Parafibromin, which does not interact with ?-catenin and thus cannot co-activate YAP and ?-catenin. These findings indicate that Parafibromin inversely regulates the activities of YAP and TAZ depending on its tyrosine phosphorylation status. They also suggest that YAP and TAZ exert their redundant and non-redundant biological actions through mutually exclusive interaction with Parafibromin, which is regulated by a balance of kinase and phosphatase activities toward Parafibromin.
Project description:The Hippo signalling pathway has emerged as a key regulator of organ size, tissue homeostasis, and patterning. Recent studies have shown that two effectors in this pathway, YAP/TAZ, modulate Wnt/?-catenin signalling through their interaction with ?-catenin or Dishevelled, depending on biological contexts. Here, we identify a novel mechanism through which Hippo signalling inhibits Wnt/?-catenin signalling. We show that YAP and TAZ, the transcriptional co-activators in the Hippo pathway, suppress Wnt signalling without suppressing the stability of ?-catenin but through preventing its nuclear translocation. Our results show that YAP/TAZ binds to ?-catenin, thereby suppressing Wnt-target gene expression, and that the Hippo pathway-stimulated phosphorylation of YAP, which induces cytoplasmic translocation of YAP, is required for the YAP-mediated inhibition of Wnt/?-catenin signalling. We also find that downregulation of Hippo signalling correlates with upregulation of ?-catenin signalling in colorectal cancers. Remarkably, our analysis demonstrates that phosphorylated YAP suppresses nuclear translocation of ?-catenin by directly binding to it in the cytoplasm. These results provide a novel mechanism, in which Hippo signalling antagonizes Wnt signalling by regulating nuclear translocation of ?-catenin.
Project description:How the behaviour of somatic stem cells (SCs) is influenced by mechanical signals remains a black-box in cell biology. Here we show that YAP/TAZ regulation by cell shape and rigidity of the extracellular matrix (ECM) dictates a pivotal SC decision: to remain undifferentiated and grow, or to activate a terminal differentiation programme. Notably, mechano-activation of YAP/TAZ promotes epidermal stemness by inhibition of Notch signalling, a key factor for epidermal differentiation. Conversely, YAP/TAZ inhibition by low mechanical forces induces Notch signalling and loss of SC traits. As such, mechano-dependent regulation of YAP/TAZ reflects into mechano-dependent regulation of Notch signalling. Mechanistically, at least in part, this is mediated by YAP/TAZ binding to distant enhancers activating the expression of Delta-like ligands, serving as 'in cis' inhibitors of Notch. Thus YAP/TAZ mechanotransduction integrates with cell-cell communication pathways for fine-grained orchestration of SC decisions.
Project description:Purpose:The purpose of this study was to determine whether genipin-induced crosslinked cell-derived matrix (XCDM) precipitates fibrotic phenotypes in human trabecular meshwork (hTM) cells by dysregulating ?-catenin and Yes-associated protein (YAP)/ transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) signaling pathways. Methods:Cell-derived matrices were treated with control or genipin for 5 hours to obtain respective uncrosslinked (CDM) and XCDMs and characterized. hTM cells were seeded on these matrices with/without Wnt pathway modulators in serum-free media for 24 hours. Elastic modulus, gene, and protein (whole cell and subcellular fractions) expressions of signaling mediators and targets of Wnt/?-catenin and YAP/TAZ pathways were determined. Results:At the highest genipin concentration (10% XCDM), XCDM had increased immunostaining of N-?(?-glutamyl)-lysine crosslinks, appeared morphologically fused, and was stiffer (5.3-fold, P < 0.001). On 10% XCDM, hTM cells were 7.8-fold (P < 0.001) stiffer, total ?-catenin was unchanged, p?-catenin was elevated, and pGSK3? was suppressed. Although 10% XCDM had no effect on cytoplasmic ?-catenin levels, it reduced nuclear ?-catenin, cadherin 11, and key Wnt target genes/proteins. The 10% XCDM increased total TAZ, decreased pTAZ, and increased cytoplasmic TAZ levels in hTM cells. The 10% XCDM increased total YAP, reduced nuclear YAP levels, and critical YAP/TAZ target genes/proteins. Wnt activation rescued hTM cells from 10% XCDM-induced stiffening associated with increased nuclear ?-catenin. Conclusions:Increased cytoplasmic TAZ may inhibit ?-catenin from its nuclear shuttling or regulating cadherin 11 important for aqueous homeostasis. Elevated cytoplasmic TAZ may inhibit YAP's probable homeostatic function in the nucleus. Together, TAZ's cytoplasmic localization may be an important downstream event of how increased TM extracellular matrix (ECM) crosslinking may cause increased stiffness and ocular hypertension in vivo. However, Wnt pathway activation may ameliorate ocular hypertensive phenotypes induced by crosslinked ECM.
Project description:Fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) are immunologically specialized myofibroblasts of lymphoid organ, and FRC maturation is essential for structural and functional properties of lymph nodes (LNs). Here we show that YAP and TAZ (YAP/TAZ), the final effectors of Hippo signaling, regulate FRC commitment and maturation. Selective depletion of YAP/TAZ in FRCs impairs FRC growth and differentiation and compromises the structural organization of LNs, whereas hyperactivation of YAP/TAZ enhances myofibroblastic characteristics of FRCs and aggravates LN fibrosis. Mechanistically, the interaction between YAP/TAZ and p52 promotes chemokine expression that is required for commitment of FRC lineage prior to lymphotoxin-? receptor (LT?R) engagement, whereas LT?R activation suppresses YAP/TAZ activity for FRC maturation. Our findings thus present YAP/TAZ as critical regulators of commitment and maturation of FRCs, and hold promise for better understanding of FRC-mediated pathophysiologic processes.
Project description:Yap/Taz are well-established downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, known to regulate organ size by directing proliferation and apoptosis. Although the functions of Yap/Taz have been extensively studied, little is known about their role in brain development. Here, through genetic ablation, we show that Yap/Taz are required for cerebellar morphogenesis. Yap/Taz deletion in neural progenitors causes defects in secondary fissure formation, leading to abnormal folia development. Although they seemed very likely to serve an important function in the development of cerebellar granule cell precursors, Yap/Taz are dispensable for their proliferation. Furthermore, Yap/Taz loss does not rescue the medulloblastoma phenotype caused by constitutively active Smoothened. Importantly, Yap/Taz are highly expressed in radial glia and play a crucial role in establishing the radial scaffold and cellular polarity of neural progenitors during embryogenesis. We found that Yap/Taz are necessary to establish and maintain junctional integrity of cerebellar neuroepithelium as prominent junction proteins are not maintained at the apical junction in the absence of Yap/Taz. Our study identifies a novel function of Yap/Taz in cerebellar foliation and finds that they are required to establish the radial glia scaffold and junctional stability.
Project description:The skin is a squamous epithelium that is continuously renewed by a population of basal layer stem/progenitor cells and can heal wounds. Here, we show that the transcription regulators YAP and TAZ localise to the nucleus in the basal layer of skin and are elevated upon wound healing. Skin-specific deletion of both YAP and TAZ in adult mice slows proliferation of basal layer cells, leads to hair loss and impairs regeneration after wounding. Contact with the basal extracellular matrix and consequent integrin-Src signalling is a key determinant of the nuclear localisation of YAP/TAZ in basal layer cells and in skin tumours. Contact with the basement membrane is lost in differentiating daughter cells, where YAP and TAZ become mostly cytoplasmic. In other types of squamous epithelia and squamous cell carcinomas, a similar control mechanism is present. By contrast, columnar epithelia differentiate an apical domain that recruits CRB3, Merlin (also known as NF2), KIBRA (also known as WWC1) and SAV1 to induce Hippo signalling and retain YAP/TAZ in the cytoplasm despite contact with the basal layer extracellular matrix. When columnar epithelial tumours lose their apical domain and become invasive, YAP/TAZ becomes nuclear and tumour growth becomes sensitive to the Src inhibitor Dasatinib.
Project description:YAP (Yes-associated protein) and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif) are major downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway that influences tissue homeostasis, organ size, and cancer development. Aberrant hyperactivation of YAP/TAZ causes tissue overgrowth and tumorigenesis, whereas their inactivation impairs tissue development and regeneration. Dynamic and precise control of YAP/TAZ activity is thus important to ensure proper physiological regulation and homeostasis of the cells. Here, we show that YAP/TAZ activation results in activation of their negative regulators, LATS1/2 (large tumor suppressor 1/2) kinases, to constitute a negative feedback loop of the Hippo pathway in both cultured cells and mouse tissues. YAP/TAZ in complex with the transcription factor TEAD (TEA domain family member) directly induce LATS2 expression. Furthermore, YAP/TAZ also stimulate the kinase activity of LATS1/2 through inducing NF2 (neurofibromin 2). This feedback regulation is responsible for the transient activation of YAP upon lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) stimulation and the inhibition of YAP-induced cell migration. Thus, this LATS-mediated feedback loop provides an efficient mechanism to establish the robustness and homeostasis of YAP/TAZ regulation.