Mammalian Tead proteins regulate cell proliferation and contact inhibition as transcriptional mediators of Hippo signaling

Mitsunori Ota, Hiroshi Sasaki
Development 2008, 135 (24): 4059-69
Regulation of organ size is important for development and tissue homeostasis. In Drosophila, Hippo signaling controls organ size by regulating the activity of a TEAD transcription factor, Scalloped, through modulation of its co-activator protein Yki. Here, we show that mouse Tead proteins regulate cell proliferation by mediating Hippo signaling. In NIH3T3 cells, cell density and Hippo signaling regulated the activity of endogenous Tead proteins by modulating nuclear localization of a Yki homolog, Yap1, and the resulting change in Tead activity altered cell proliferation. Tead2-VP16 mimicked Yap1 overexpression, including increased cell proliferation, reduced cell death, promotion of EMT, lack of cell contact inhibition and promotion of tumor formation. Growth-promoting activities of various Yap1 mutants correlated with their Tead-co-activator activities. Tead2-VP16 and Yap1 regulated largely overlapping sets of genes. However, only a few of the Tead/Yap1-regulated genes in NIH3T3 cells were affected in Tead1(-/-);Tead2(-/-) or Yap1(-/-) embryos. Most of the previously identified Yap1-regulated genes were not affected in NIH3T3 cells or mutant mice. In embryos, levels of nuclear Yap1 and Tead1 varied depending on cell type. Strong nuclear accumulation of Yap1 and Tead1 were seen in myocardium, correlating with requirements of Tead1 for proliferation. However, their distribution did not always correlate with proliferation. Taken together, mammalian Tead proteins regulate cell proliferation and contact inhibition as a transcriptional mediator of Hippo signaling, but the mechanisms by which Tead/Yap1 regulate cell proliferation differ depending on the cell type, and Tead, Yap1 and Hippo signaling may play multiple roles in mouse embryos.

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