Mechanosignaling through YAP and TAZ drives fibroblast activation and fibrosis

Fei Liu, David Lagares, Kyoung Moo Choi, Lauren Stopfer, Aleksandar Marinković, Vladimir Vrbanac, Clemens K Probst, Samantha E Hiemer, Thomas H Sisson, Jeffrey C Horowitz, Ivan O Rosas, Laura E Fredenburgh, Carol Feghali-Bostwick, Xaralabos Varelas, Andrew M Tager, Daniel J Tschumperlin
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2015 February 15, 308 (4): L344-57
Pathological fibrosis is driven by a feedback loop in which the fibrotic extracellular matrix is both a cause and consequence of fibroblast activation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain poorly understood. Here we identify yes-associated protein (YAP) (homolog of drosophila Yki) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) (also known as Wwtr1), transcriptional effectors of the Hippo pathway, as key matrix stiffness-regulated coordinators of fibroblast activation and matrix synthesis. YAP and TAZ are prominently expressed in fibrotic but not healthy lung tissue, with particularly pronounced nuclear expression of TAZ in spindle-shaped fibroblastic cells. In culture, both YAP and TAZ accumulate in the nuclei of fibroblasts grown on pathologically stiff matrices but not physiologically compliant matrices. Knockdown of YAP and TAZ together in vitro attenuates key fibroblast functions, including matrix synthesis, contraction, and proliferation, and does so exclusively on pathologically stiff matrices. Profibrotic effects of YAP and TAZ operate, in part, through their transcriptional target plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, which is regulated by matrix stiffness independent of transforming growth factor-β signaling. Immortalized fibroblasts conditionally expressing active YAP or TAZ mutant proteins overcome soft matrix limitations on growth and promote fibrosis when adoptively transferred to the murine lung, demonstrating the ability of fibroblast YAP/TAZ activation to drive a profibrotic response in vivo. Together, these results identify YAP and TAZ as mechanoactivated coordinators of the matrix-driven feedback loop that amplifies and sustains fibrosis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"