The Hippo pathway represses YAP oncoprotein activity through phosphorylation by LATS kinases. Although variety of upstream components has been found to participate in the Hippo pathway, the existence and function of negative feedback has remained uncertain. We found that activated YAP, together with TEAD transcription factors, directly induces transcription of LATS2, but not LATS1, to form a negative feedback loop. We also observed increased mRNA levels of Hippo upstream components upon YAP activation. To reveal the physiological role of this negative feedback regulation, we deleted Lats2 or Lats1 in the liver-specific Sav1-knockout mouse model which develops a YAP-induced tumor. Additional deletion of Lats2 severely enhanced YAP-induced tumorigenic phenotypes in a liver specific Sav1 knock-out mouse model while additional deletion of Lats1 mildly affected the phenotype. Only Sav1 and Lats2 double knock-down cells formed larger colonies in soft agar assay, thereby recapitulating accelerated tumorigenesis seen in vivo. Importantly, this negative feedback is evolutionarily conserved, as Drosophila Yorkie (YAP ortholog) induces transcription of Warts (LATS2 ortholog) with Scalloped (TEAD ortholog). Collectively, we demonstrated the existence and function of an evolutionarily conserved negative feedback mechanism in the Hippo pathway, as well as the functional difference between LATS1 and LATS2 in regulation of YAP.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Hippo pathway
- Negative feedback