The PDZ-binding motif of Yes-associated protein is required for its co-activation of TEAD-mediated CTGF transcription and oncogenic cell transforming activity

Tadanori Shimomura, Norio Miyamura, Shoji Hata, Ryota Miura, Jun Hirayama, Hiroshi Nishina
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2014 January 17, 443 (3): 917-23
YAP is a transcriptional co-activator that acts downstream of the Hippo signaling pathway and regulates multiple cellular processes, including proliferation. Hippo pathway-dependent phosphorylation of YAP negatively regulates its function. Conversely, attenuation of Hippo-mediated phosphorylation of YAP increases its ability to stimulate proliferation and eventually induces oncogenic transformation. The C-terminus of YAP contains a highly conserved PDZ-binding motif that regulates YAP's functions in multiple ways. However, to date, the importance of the PDZ-binding motif to the oncogenic cell transforming activity of YAP has not been determined. In this study, we disrupted the PDZ-binding motif in the YAP (5SA) protein, in which the sites normally targeted by Hippo pathway-dependent phosphorylation are mutated. We found that loss of the PDZ-binding motif significantly inhibited the oncogenic transformation of cultured cells induced by YAP (5SA). In addition, the increased nuclear localization of YAP (5SA) and its enhanced activation of TEAD-dependent transcription of the cell proliferation gene CTGF were strongly reduced when the PDZ-binding motif was deleted. Similarly, in mouse liver, deletion of the PDZ-binding motif suppressed nuclear localization of YAP (5SA) and YAP (5SA)-induced CTGF expression. Taken together, our results indicate that the PDZ-binding motif of YAP is critical for YAP-mediated oncogenesis, and that this effect is mediated by YAP's co-activation of TEAD-mediated CTGF transcription.

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