Cell contact and Nf2/Merlin-dependent regulation of TEAD palmitoylation and activity.
ABSTRACT: The Hippo pathway is involved in regulating contact inhibition of proliferation and organ size control and responds to various physical and biochemical stimuli. It is a kinase cascade that negatively regulates the activity of cotranscription factors YAP and TAZ, which interact with DNA binding transcription factors including TEAD and activate the expression of target genes. In this study, we show that the palmitoylation of TEAD, which controls the activity and stability of TEAD proteins, is actively regulated by cell density independent of Lats, the key kinase of the Hippo pathway. The expression of fatty acid synthase and acetyl-CoA carboxylase involved in de novo biosynthesis of palmitate is reduced by cell density in an Nf2/Merlin-dependent manner. Depalmitoylation of TEAD is mediated by depalmitoylases including APT2 and ABHD17A. Palmitoylation-deficient TEAD4 mutant is unstable and degraded by proteasome through the activity of the E3 ubiquitin ligase CHIP. These findings show that TEAD activity is tightly controlled through the regulation of palmitoylation and stability via the orchestration of FASN, depalmitoylases, and E3 ubiquitin ligase in response to cell contact.
Project description:Palmitoylation is a post-translational modification involving the thioesterification of cysteine residues with a 16-carbon-saturated fatty acid. Little is known about rates of depalmitoylation or the parameters that dictate these rates. Here we report a modular strategy to synthesize quenched fluorogenic substrates for the specific detection of depalmitoylase activity and for mapping the substrate specificity of individual depalmitoylases. We demonstrate that human depalmitoylases APT1 and APT2, and TgPPT1 from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, have distinct specificities that depend on amino acid residues distal to the palmitoyl cysteine. This information informs the design of optimal and non-optimal substrates as well as isoform-selective substrates to detect the activity of a specific depalmitoylase in complex proteomes. In addition to providing tools for studying depalmitoylases, our findings identify a previously unrecognized mechanism for regulating steady-state levels of distinct palmitoylation sites by sequence-dependent control of depalmitoylation rates.
Project description:Dynamic changes in protein S-palmitoylation are critical for regulating protein localization and signaling. Only two enzymes - the acyl-protein thioesterases APT1 and APT2 - are known to catalyze palmitate removal from cytosolic cysteine residues. It is unclear if these enzymes act constitutively on all palmitoylated proteins, or if additional depalmitoylases exist. Using a dual pulse-chase strategy comparing palmitate and protein half-lives, we found knockdown or inhibition of APT1 and APT2 blocked depalmitoylation of Huntingtin, but did not affect palmitate turnover on postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD95) or N-Ras. We used activity profiling to identify novel serine hydrolase targets of the APT1/2 inhibitor Palmostatin B, and discovered that a family of uncharacterized ABHD17 proteins can accelerate palmitate turnover on PSD95 and N-Ras. ABHD17 catalytic activity is required for N-Ras depalmitoylation and re-localization to internal cellular membranes. Our findings indicate that the family of depalmitoylation enzymes may be substantially broader than previously believed.
Project description:S-palmitoylation is required for membrane anchoring, proper trafficking, and the normal function of hundreds of integral and peripheral membrane proteins. Previous bioorthogonal pulse-chase proteomics analyses identified Ras family GTPases, polarity proteins, and G proteins as rapidly cycling S-palmitoylated proteins sensitive to depalmitoylase inhibition, yet the breadth of enzyme regulated dynamic S-palmitoylation largely remains a mystery. Here, we present a pulsed bioorthogonal S-palmitoylation assay for temporal analysis of S-palmitoylation dynamics. Low concentration hexadecylfluorophosphonate (HDFP) inactivates the APT and ABHD17 families of depalmitoylases, which dramatically increases alkynyl-fatty acid labeling and stratifies S-palmitoylated proteins into kinetically distinct subgroups. Most surprisingly, HDFP treatment does not affect steady-state S-palmitoylation levels, despite inhibiting all validated depalmitoylating enzymes. S-palmitoylation profiling of APT1-/-/APT2-/- mouse brains similarly show no change in S-palmitoylation levels. In comparison with hydroxylamine-switch methods, bioorthogonal alkynyl fatty acids are only incorporated into a small fraction of dynamic S-palmitoylated proteins, raising the possibility that S-palmitoylation is more stable than generally characterized. Overall, disrupting depalmitoylase activity enhances alkynyl fatty acid incorporation, but does not greatly affect steady state S-palmitoylation across the proteome.
Project description:Protein depalmitoylation describes the removal of thioester-linked long chain fatty acids from cysteine residues in proteins. For many S-palmitoylated proteins, this process is promoted by acyl protein thioesterase enzymes, which catalyze thioester hydrolysis to solubilize and displace substrate proteins from membranes. The closely related enzymes acyl protein thioesterase 1 (APT1; LYPLA1) and acyl protein thioesterase 2 (APT2; LYPLA2) were initially identified from biochemical assays as G protein depalmitoylases, yet later were shown to accept a number of S-palmitoylated protein and phospholipid substrates. Leveraging the development of isoform-selective APT inhibitors, several studies report distinct roles for APT enzymes in growth factor and hormonal signaling. Recent crystal structures of APT1 and APT2 reveal convergent acyl binding channels, suggesting additional factors beyond acyl chain recognition mediate substrate selection. In addition to APT enzymes, the ABHD17 family of hydrolases contributes to the depalmitoylation of Ras-family GTPases and synaptic proteins. Overall, enzymatic depalmitoylation ensures efficient membrane targeting by balancing the palmitoylation cycle, and may play additional roles in signaling, growth, and cell organization. In this review, we provide a perspective on the biochemical, structural, and cellular analysis of protein depalmitoylases, and outline opportunities for future studies of systems-wide analysis of protein depalmitoylation.
Project description:It is currently unclear whether Merlin/NF2 suppresses tumorigenesis by activating upstream components of the Hippo pathway at the plasma membrane or by inhibiting the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL4(DCAF1) in the nucleus. We found that derepressed CRL4(DCAF1) promotes YAP- and TEAD-dependent transcription by ubiquitylating and, thereby, inhibiting Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus. Genetic epistasis experiments and analysis of tumor-derived missense mutations indicate that this signaling connection sustains the oncogenicity of Merlin-deficient tumor cells. Analysis of clinical samples confirms that this pathway operates in NF2-mutant tumors. We conclude that derepressed CRL4(DCAF1) promotes activation of YAP by inhibiting Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus.
Project description:The YAP and TAZ transcriptional coactivators promote oncogenic transformation. Elevated YAP/TAZ activity has been documented in human tumors. YAP and TAZ are negatively regulated by the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway. The activity and stability of several Hippo pathway components, including YAP/TAZ, is regulated by ubiquitin mediated protein turnover and several ubiquitin ligase complexes have been implicated in human cancer. However, little is known about the deubiquitylating enzymes that counteract these ubiquitin ligases in regulation of the Hippo pathway. Here we identify the DUB3 family deubiquitylating enzymes as regulators of Hippo pathway activity. We provide evidence that DUB3 proteins regulate YAP/TAZ activity by controlling the stability of the E3 ligase ITCH, the LATS kinases and the AMOT family proteins. As a novel Hippo pathway regulator, DUB3 has the potential to act a tumor suppressor by limiting YAP activity.
Project description:YAP/TAZ transcriptional co-activators play pivotal roles in tumorigenesis. In the Hippo pathway, diverse signals activate the MST-LATS kinase cascade that leads to YAP/TAZ phosphorylation, and subsequent ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation by SCFβ-TrCP. When the MST-LATS kinase cascade is inactive, unphosphorylated or dephosphorylated YAP/TAZ translocate into the nucleus to mediate TEAD-dependent gene transcription. Hippo signaling-independent YAP/TAZ activation in human malignancies has also been observed, yet the mechanism remains largely elusive. Here, we report that the ubiquitin E3 ligase HERC3 can promote YAP/TAZ activation independently of its enzymatic activity. HERC3 directly binds to -TrCP, blocks its interaction with YAP/TAZ, and thus prevents YAP/TAZ ubiquitination and degradation. Expression levels of HERC3 correlates with YAP/TAZ protein levels and expression of YAP/TAZ target genes in breast tumor cells and tissues. Accordingly, knockdown of HERC3 expression ameliorates tumorigenesis of breast cancer cells. Our results establish HERC3 as a critical regulator of the YAP/TAZ stability and a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer.
Project description:TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factors bind to the coactivators YAP and TAZ and regulate the transcriptional output of the Hippo pathway, playing critical roles in organ size control and tumorigenesis. Protein S-palmitoylation attaches a fatty acid, palmitate, to cysteine residues and regulates protein trafficking, membrane localization and signaling activities. Using activity-based chemical probes, we discovered that human TEADs possess intrinsic palmitoylating enzyme-like activities and undergo autopalmitoylation at evolutionarily conserved cysteine residues under physiological conditions. We determined the crystal structures of lipid-bound TEADs and found that the lipid chain of palmitate inserts into a conserved deep hydrophobic pocket. Strikingly, palmitoylation did not alter TEAD's localization, but it was required for TEAD's binding to YAP and TAZ and was dispensable for its binding to the Vgll4 tumor suppressor. Moreover, palmitoylation-deficient TEAD mutants impaired TAZ-mediated muscle differentiation in vitro and tissue overgrowth mediated by the Drosophila YAP homolog Yorkie in vivo. Our study directly links autopalmitoylation to the transcriptional regulation of the Hippo pathway.
Project description:Dysregulation of YAP localization and activity is associated with pathological conditions such as cancer. Although activation of the Hippo phosphorylation cascade is known to cause cytoplasmic retention and inactivation of YAP, emerging evidence suggests that YAP can be regulated in a Hippo-independent manner. Here, we report that YAP is subject to non-proteolytic, K63-linked polyubiquitination by the SCFSKP2 E3 ligase complex (SKP2), which is reversed by the deubiquitinase OTUD1. The non-proteolytic ubiquitination of YAP enhances its interaction with its nuclear binding partner TEAD, thereby inducing YAP's nuclear localization, transcriptional activity, and growth-promoting function. Independently of Hippo signaling, mutation of YAP's K63-linkage specific ubiquitination sites K321 and K497, depletion of SKP2, or overexpression of OTUD1 retains YAP in the cytoplasm and inhibits its activity. Conversely, overexpression of SKP2 or loss of OTUD1 leads to nuclear localization and activation of YAP. Altogether, our study sheds light on the ubiquitination-mediated, Hippo-independent regulation of YAP.
Project description:The Hippo Pathway is a critical signaling network that regulates organ size and cellular proliferation in metazoans. The transcriptional enhanced associate domain (TEAD) family of transcription factors serve as the receptors for the downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway, YAP and TAZ, to upregulate expression of multiple genes involved in proliferation, cell-fate determination, polarity, and survival1. Recent work revealed that TEAD proteins are palmitoylated at a conserved cysteine with the lipid tail extending into the hydrophobic core of the protein2. Mutagenic and covalent modulation of the palmitoylation site disrupts Hippo signaling2,3; however, an understanding of why TEAD proteins require this seemingly essential modification and the therapeutic implications of modulating TEAD palmitoylation has remained elusive. Here we report the identification and optimization of a potent pan-TEAD small molecule that binds the TEAD lipid pocket (LP), blocks palmitoylation, and dysregulates TEAD activity in multiple cancer cell lines. Cellular and biochemical data interrogating the mechanism of action for our compound reveal TEAD palmitoylation to function as a checkpoint that regulates TEAD homeostasis. We show that bypassing this checkpoint with a small molecule increases TEAD protein levels thereby decreasing the ability of YAP/TAZ to activate downstream target gene transcription in a dominant-negative manner. Our study demonstrates a new role for lipidation in protein signaling and establishes the TEAD LP as a bona fide therapeutic site for modulation of the Hippo Pathway.