Project description:YAP1 is a transcriptional coactivator and the principal effector of the Hippo signaling pathway, which is causally implicated in human cancer. Several <i>YAP1</i> gene fusions have been identified in various human cancers and identifying the essential components of this family of gene fusions has significant therapeutic value. Here, we show that the <i>YAP1</i> gene fusions <i>YAP1-MAMLD1</i>, <i>YAP1-FAM118B</i>, <i>YAP1-TFE3</i>, and <i>YAP1-SS18</i> are oncogenic in mice. Using reporter assays, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and loss-of-function mutations, we can show that all of these YAP1 fusion proteins exert TEAD-dependent YAP activity, while some also exert activity of the C'-terminal fusion partner. The YAP activity of the different YAP1 fusions is resistant to negative Hippo pathway regulation due to constitutive nuclear localization and resistance to degradation of the YAP1 fusion proteins. Genetic disruption of the TEAD-binding domain of these oncogenic YAP1 fusions is sufficient to inhibit tumor formation in vivo, while pharmacological inhibition of the YAP1-TEAD interaction inhibits the growth of YAP1 fusion-expressing cell lines in vitro. These results highlight TEAD-dependent YAP activity found in these gene fusions as critical for oncogenesis and implicate these YAP functions as potential therapeutic targets in YAP1 fusion-positive tumors.
Project description:Poroma is a benign skin tumor exhibiting terminal sweat gland duct differentiation. The present study aimed to explore the potential role of gene fusions in the tumorigenesis of poromas. RNA sequencing and reverse transcription PCR identified highly recurrent YAP1-MAML2 and YAP1-NUTM1 fusions in poromas (92/104 lesions, 88.5%) and their rare malignant counterpart, porocarcinomas (7/11 lesions, 63.6%). A WWTR1-NUTM1 fusion was identified in a single lesion of poroma. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization confirmed genomic rearrangements involving these genetic loci. Immunohistochemical staining could readily identify the YAP1 fusion products as nuclear expression of the N-terminal portion of YAP1 with a lack of the C-terminal portion. YAP1 and WWTR1, also known as YAP and TAZ, respectively, encode paralogous transcriptional activators of TEAD, which are negatively regulated by the Hippo signaling pathway. The YAP1 and WWTR1 fusions strongly transactivated a TEAD reporter and promoted anchorage-independent growth, confirming their tumorigenic roles. Our results demonstrate the frequent presence of transforming YAP1 fusions in poromas and porocarcinomas and suggest YAP1/TEAD-dependent transcription as a candidate therapeutic target against porocarcinoma.
Project description:Sarcomas are driven by diverse pathogenic mechanisms, including gene rearrangements in a subset of cases. Rare soft tissue sarcomas containing KMT2A fusions have recently been reported, characterized by a predilection for young adults, sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma-like morphology, and an often aggressive course. Nonetheless, clinicopathologic and molecular descriptions of KMT2A-rearranged sarcomas remain limited. In this study, we identified by targeted next-generation RNA sequencing an index patient with KMT2A fusion-positive soft tissue sarcoma. In addition, we systematically searched for KMT2A structural variants in a comprehensive genomic profiling database of 14,680 sarcomas interrogated by targeted next-generation DNA and/or RNA sequencing. We characterized the clinicopathologic and molecular features of KMT2A fusion-positive sarcomas, including KMT2A breakpoints, rearrangement partners, and concurrent genetic alterations. Collectively, we identified a cohort of 34 sarcomas with KMT2A fusions (0.2%), and YAP1 was the predominant partner (n?=?16 [47%]). Notably, a complex rearrangement with YAP1 consistent with YAP1-KMT2A-YAP1 fusion was detected in most cases, with preservation of KMT2A CxxC-binding domain in the YAP1-KMT2A-YAP1 fusion and concurrent deletions of corresponding exons in KMT2A. The tumors often affected younger adults (age 20-66 [median 40] years) and histologically showed variably monomorphic epithelioid-to-spindle shaped cells embedded in a dense collagenous stroma. Ultrastructural evidence of fibroblastic differentiation was noted in one tumor examined. Our cohort also included two sarcomas with VIM-KMT2A fusions, each harboring concurrent mutations in CTNNB1, SMARCB1, and ARID1A and characterized histologically by sheets of spindle-to-round blue cells. The remaining 16 KMT2A-rearranged sarcomas in our cohort exhibited diverse histologic subtypes, each with unique novel fusion partners. In summary, KMT2A-fusion-positive sarcomas most commonly exhibit sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma-like morphology and complex YAP1-KMT2A-YAP1 fusions. Cases also include rare spindle-to-round cell sarcomas with VIM-KMT2A fusions and tumors of diverse histologic subtypes with unique KMT2A fusions to non-YAP1 non-VIM partners.
Project description:YAP1 fusion-positive supratentorial ependymomas predominantly occur in infants, but the molecular mechanisms of oncogenesis are unknown. Here we show YAP1-MAMLD1 fusions are sufficient to drive malignant transformation in mice, and the resulting tumors share histo-molecular characteristics of human ependymomas. Nuclear localization of YAP1-MAMLD1 protein is mediated by MAMLD1 and independent of YAP1-Ser127 phosphorylation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing analyses of human YAP1-MAMLD1-positive ependymoma reveal enrichment of NFI and TEAD transcription factor binding site motifs in YAP1-bound regulatory elements, suggesting a role for these transcription factors in YAP1-MAMLD1-driven tumorigenesis. Mutation of the TEAD binding site in the YAP1 fusion or repression of NFI targets prevents tumor induction in mice. Together, these results demonstrate that the YAP1-MAMLD1 fusion functions as an oncogenic driver of ependymoma through recruitment of TEADs and NFIs, indicating a rationale for preclinical studies to block the interaction between YAP1 fusions and NFI and TEAD transcription factors.
Project description:Hippo signaling functions to limit cellular growth, but the aberrant nuclear accumulation of its downstream YAP1 leads to carcinogenesis. YAP1/TEAD complex activates the oncogenic downstream transcription, such as CTGF and c-Myc. How YAP1 is protected in the cytoplasm from ubiquitin-mediated degradation remains elusive. In this study, a member of Angiomotin (Motin) family, AMOTL1 (Angiomotin Like 1), was screened out as the only one to promote YAP1 nuclear accumulation by several clinical cohorts, which was further confirmed by the cellular functional assays. The interaction between YAP1 and AMOTL1 was suggested by co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescent staining. The clinical significance of the AMOTL1-YAP1-CTGF axis in gastric cancer (GC) was analyzed by multiple clinical cohorts. Moreover, the therapeutic effect of targeting the oncogenic axis was appraised by drug-sensitivity tests and xenograft-formation assays. The upregulation of AMOTL1 is associated with unfavorable clinical outcomes of GC, and knocking down AMOTL1 impairs its oncogenic properties. The cytoplasmic interaction between AMOTL1 and YAP1 protects each other from ubiquitin-mediated degradation. AMOTL1 promotes YAP1 translocation into the nuclei to activate the downstream expression, such as CTGF. Knocking down AMOTL1, YAP1, and CTGF enhances the therapeutic efficacies of the first-line anticancer drugs. Taken together, AMOTL1 plays an oncogenic role in gastric carcinogenesis through interacting with YAP1 and promoting its nuclear accumulation. A combination of AMOTL1, YAP1, and CTGF expression might serve as a surrogate of Hippo activation status. The co-activation of the AMOTL1/YAP1-CTGF axis is associated with poor clinical outcomes of GC patients, and targeting this oncogenic axis may enhance the chemotherapeutic effects.
Project description:YAP1 gene fusions have been observed in a subset of paediatric ependymomas. Here we show that, ectopic expression of active nuclear YAP1 (nlsYAP5SA) in ventricular zone neural progenitor cells using conditionally-induced NEX/NeuroD6-Cre is sufficient to drive brain tumour formation in mice. Neuronal differentiation is inhibited in the hippocampus. Deletion of YAP1's negative regulators LATS1 and LATS2 kinases in NEX-Cre lineage in double conditional knockout mice also generates similar tumours, which are rescued by deletion of YAP1 and its paralog TAZ. YAP1/TAZ-induced mouse tumours display molecular and ultrastructural characteristics of human ependymoma. RNA sequencing and quantitative proteomics of mouse tumours demonstrate similarities to YAP1-fusion induced supratentorial ependymoma. Finally, we find that transcriptional cofactor HOPX is upregulated in mouse models and in human YAP1-fusion induced ependymoma, supporting their similarity. Our results show that uncontrolled YAP1/TAZ activity in neuronal precursor cells leads to ependymoma-like tumours in mice.
Project description:Gene fusions have long been considered principally as the oncogenic events of hematologic malignancies, but have recently gained wide attention in solid tumors due to several milestone discoveries and the advancement of deep sequencing technologies. With the progress in deep sequencing studies of breast cancer transcriptomes and genomes, the discovery of recurrent and pathological gene fusions in breast cancer is on the focus. Recently, driven by new deep sequencing studies, several recurrent or pathological gene fusions have been identified in breast cancer, including ESR1-CCDC170, SEC16A-NOTCH1, SEC22B-NOTCH2, and ESR1-YAP1 etc. More important, most of these gene fusions are preferentially identified in the more aggressive breast cancers, such as luminal B, basal-like, or endocrine-resistant breast cancer, suggesting recurrent gene fusions as additional key driver events in these tumors other than the known drivers such as the estrogen receptor. In this paper, we have comprehensively summarized the newly identified recurrent or pathological gene fusion events in breast cancer, reviewed the contributions of new genomic and deep sequencing technologies to new fusion discovery and the integrative bioinformatics tools to analyze these data, highlighted the biological relevance and clinical implications of these fusion discoveries, and discussed future directions of gene fusion research in breast cancer.