Gene Summary

Gene:YAP1; Yes associated protein 1
Aliases: YAP, YKI, COB1, YAP2, YAP65
Summary:This gene encodes a downstream nuclear effector of the Hippo signaling pathway which is involved in development, growth, repair, and homeostasis. This gene is known to play a role in the development and progression of multiple cancers as a transcriptional regulator of this signaling pathway and may function as a potential target for cancer treatment. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Aug 2013]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:transcriptional coactivator YAP1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 09 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (34)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 10 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Drug Resistance
  • MicroRNAs
  • Transcription Factors
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • DNA Methylation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Brain Tumours
  • Ubiquitination
  • Lung Cancer
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Western Blotting
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mutation
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Chromosome 11
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Cell Movement
  • Apoptosis
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Liver Cancer
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Down-Regulation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • RNA Interference
  • ras Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
Tag cloud generated 09 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: YAP1 (cancer-related)

Jiang LL, Xie JK, Cui JQ, et al.
Promoter methylation of yes-associated protein (YAP1) gene in polycystic ovary syndrome.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(2):e5768 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: DNA methylation modification has been proved to influence the phenotype of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) demonstrate that yes-associated protein (YAP1) genetic sites are associated with PCOS. The study aims to detect the methylation status of YAP1 promoter in ovary granulosa cells (GCs) of PCOS patients and explore novel therapeutic targets for PCOS.
METHODS: Randomized controlled trial was applied and a total of 72 women were included in the study, including 36 cases of PCOS patients and 36 cases of health controls. Ovary GCs were extracted from in vitro fertilization embryo transfer. Methylation status of YAP1 promoter was detected by bisulfite sequencing PCR (BSP). Protein and mRNA expression of YAP1 were measured by western blotting and real-time quantitate PCR.
RESULTS: Overall methylation level of YAP1 promoter region from PCOS group was significantly lower than that from control group. CpG sites analysis revealed that 12 sites (-443, -431, -403, -371, -331, -120, -49, -5, +1, +9, +15, +22) were significantly hypomethylated in women with PCOS (P < 0.05). A significant upregulation of YAP1 mRNA and protein expression levels was observed. Testosterone concentration could alleviate the methylation status and demonstrate obvious dose-dependent relation.
CONCLUSION: Our research achievements manifest that hypomethylation of YAP1 promoter promotes the YAP1 expression, which plays a key role in the pathogenesis and accelerate PCOS.

Yang X, Du G, Yu Z, et al.
A Novel NHERF1 Mutation in Human Breast Cancer and Effects on Malignant Progression.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(1):67-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Na(+)/H(+) exchanger regulatory factor 1 (NHERF1) has been reported to interact with post-synaptic density protein/Drosophila disc large tumour suppressor/zonula occludens 1 protein (PDZ) binding proteins by its two PDZ domains. These associations have effects on cellular signal transductions. NHERF1 has also been indicated as a cancer-related gene in several solid tumour types. We identified a novel mutation (A190D), of the PDZ2 domain of NHERF1 in breast cancer tissues. NHERF1 A190D mutation abolished NHERF1 modulation of proliferation and migration. In this study, we found that NHERF1 A190D mutation increased nuclear localisation of the protein compared to wild-type NHERF1. It has been reported that YES-associated protein (YAP) interacts with NHERF1. Here we found that NHERF1 A190D mutation increased the binding affinity between NHERF1 and YAP, which inhibited the phosphorylation of YAP. These data suggest that wild-type NHERF1 acts as a tumour suppressor, while NHERF1 A190D mutation abolishes the tumour-suppressive effect in cancer cells, due to A190D mutation-mediated nuclear NHERF1 translocation and induction of YAP phosphorylation.

Chen SW, Lin YC, Chen RY, et al.
Immunohistochemical overexpression of hypoxia-induced factor 1α associated with slow reduction in (18)fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake for chemoradiotherapy in patients with pharyngeal cancer.
Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016; 43(13):2343-2352 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This study examined genomic factors associated with a reduction in (18)fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) uptake during positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) for definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in patients with pharyngeal cancer.
METHODS: The pretreatment and interim PET-CT images of 25 patients with advanced pharyngeal cancers receiving definitive CRT were prospectively evaluated. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of the interim PET-CT and the reduction ratio of the SUVmax (SRR) between the two images were measured. Genomic data from pretreatment incisional biopsy specimens (SLC2A1, CAIX, VEGF, HIF1A, BCL2, Claudin-4, YAP1, MET, MKI67, and EGFR) were analyzed using tissue microarrays. Differences in FDG uptake and SRRs between tumors with low and high gene expression were examined using the Mann-Whitney test. Cox regression analysis was performed to examine the effects of variables on local control.
RESULTS: The SRR of the primary tumors (SRR-P) was 0.59 ± 0.31, whereas the SRR of metastatic lymph nodes (SRR-N) was 0.54 ± 0.32. Overexpression of HIF1A was associated with a high iSUVmax of the primary tumor (P < 0.001) and neck lymph node (P = 0.04) and a low SRR-P (P = 0.02). Multivariate analysis revealed that patients who had tumors with low SRR-P or high HIF1A expression levels showed inferior local control.
CONCLUSION: In patients with pharyngeal cancer requiring CRT, HIF1A overexpression was positively associated with high interim SUVmax or a slow reduction in FDG uptake. Prospective trials are needed to determine whether the local control rate can be stratified using the HIF1A level as a biomarker and SRR-P.

Ito T, Matsubara D, Tanaka I, et al.
Loss of YAP1 defines neuroendocrine differentiation of lung tumors.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(10):1527-1538 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
YAP1, the main Hippo pathway effector, is a potent oncogene and is overexpressed in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); however, the YAP1 expression pattern in small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) has not yet been elucidated in detail. We report that the loss of YAP1 is a special feature of high-grade neuroendocrine lung tumors. A hierarchical cluster analysis of 15 high-grade neuroendocrine tumor cell lines containing 14 SCLC cell lines that depended on the genes of Hippo pathway molecules and neuroendocrine markers clearly classified these lines into two groups: the YAP1-negative and neuroendocrine marker-positive group (n = 11), and the YAP1-positive and neuroendocrine marker-negative group (n = 4). Among the 41 NSCLC cell lines examined, the loss of YAP1 was only observed in one cell line showing the strong expression of neuroendocrine markers. Immunostaining for YAP1, using the sections of 189 NSCLC, 41 SCLC, and 30 large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC) cases, revealed that the loss of YAP1 was common in SCLC (40/41, 98%) and LCNEC (18/30, 60%), but was rare in NSCLC (6/189, 3%). Among the SCLC and LCNEC cases tested, the loss of YAP1 correlated with the expression of neuroendocrine markers, and a survival analysis revealed that YAP1-negative cases were more chemosensitive than YAP1-positive cases. Chemosensitivity test for cisplatin using YAP1-positive/YAP1-negative SCLC cell lines also showed compatible results. YAP1-sh-mediated knockdown induced the neuroendocrine marker RAB3a, which suggested the possible involvement of YAP1 in the regulation of neuroendocrine differentiation. Thus, we showed that the loss of YAP1 has potential as a clinical marker for predicting neuroendocrine features and chemosensitivity.

Pietsch T, Haberler C
Update on the integrated histopathological and genetic classification of medulloblastoma - a practical diagnostic guideline.
Clin Neuropathol. 2016 Nov/Dec; 35(6):344-352 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The revised WHO classification of tumors of the CNS 2016 has introduced the concept of the integrated diagnosis. The definition of medulloblastoma entities now requires a combination of the traditional histological information with additional molecular/genetic features. For definition of the histopathological component of the medulloblastoma diagnosis, the tumors should be assigned to one of the four entities classic, desmoplastic/nodular (DNMB), extensive nodular (MBEN), or large cell/anaplastic (LC/A) medulloblastoma. The genetically defined component comprises the four entities WNT-activated, SHH-activated and TP53 wildtype, SHH-activated and TP53 mutant, or non-WNT/non-SHH medulloblastoma. Robust and validated methods are available to allow a precise diagnosis of these medulloblastoma entities according to the updated WHO classification, and for differential diagnostic purposes. A combination of immunohistochemical markers including β-catenin, Yap1, p75-NGFR, Otx2, and p53, in combination with targeted sequencing and copy number assessment such as FISH analysis for MYC genes allows a precise assignment of patients for risk-adapted stratification. It also allows comparison to results of study cohorts in the past and provides a robust basis for further treatment refinement.

Rogers MA, Kalter V, Strowitzki M, et al.
IGF2 knockdown in two colorectal cancer cell lines decreases survival, adhesion and modulates survival-associated genes.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(9):12485-12495 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increased expression of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) is found in tumors of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients exhibiting a gained region on chromosome 11q15 and is implicated in poor patient survival. This study analyzes in vitro phenotypic- and gene expression changes associated with IGF2 shRNA-mediated knockdown. Initially, doxycycline inducible IGF2 knockdown cell lines were generated in the CRC cell lines SW480 and LS174T. The cells were analyzed for changes in proliferation, cell cycle, apoptosis, adhesion, and invasion. Expression profiling analysis was performed, and, for a subset of the identified genes, expression was validated by qRT-PCR and Western blot. IGF2 knockdown inhibited cell proliferation in both cell lines induced G1 cell cycle blockade and decreased adhesion to several extracellular matrix proteins. Knockdown of IGF2 did not alter invasiveness in SW480 cells, while a slight increase in apoptosis was seen only in the LS174T cell line. Knockdown of IGF2 in SW480 deregulated 58 genes, several of which were associated with proliferation and cell-cell/cell-ECM contacts. A subset of these genes, including CDK2, YAP1, and BIRC5 (Survivin), are members of a common network. This study supports the concept of direct autocrine/paracrine tumor cell activation through IGF2 and a shows role of IGF2 in CRC proliferation, adhesion and, to a limited extent, apoptosis.

Kim J, McMillan E, Kim HS, et al.
XPO1-dependent nuclear export is a druggable vulnerability in KRAS-mutant lung cancer.
Nature. 2016; 538(7623):114-117 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
The common participation of oncogenic KRAS proteins in many of the most lethal human cancers, together with the ease of detecting somatic KRAS mutant alleles in patient samples, has spurred persistent and intensive efforts to develop drugs that inhibit KRAS activity. However, advances have been hindered by the pervasive inter- and intra-lineage diversity in the targetable mechanisms that underlie KRAS-driven cancers, limited pharmacological accessibility of many candidate synthetic-lethal interactions and the swift emergence of unanticipated resistance mechanisms to otherwise effective targeted therapies. Here we demonstrate the acute and specific cell-autonomous addiction of KRAS-mutant non-small-cell lung cancer cells to receptor-dependent nuclear export. A multi-genomic, data-driven approach, utilizing 106 human non-small-cell lung cancer cell lines, was used to interrogate 4,725 biological processes with 39,760 short interfering RNA pools for those selectively required for the survival of KRAS-mutant cells that harbour a broad spectrum of phenotypic variation. Nuclear transport machinery was the sole process-level discriminator of statistical significance. Chemical perturbation of the nuclear export receptor XPO1 (also known as CRM1), with a clinically available drug, revealed a robust synthetic-lethal interaction with native or engineered oncogenic KRAS both in vitro and in vivo. The primary mechanism underpinning XPO1 inhibitor sensitivity was intolerance to the accumulation of nuclear IκBα (also known as NFKBIA), with consequent inhibition of NFκB transcription factor activity. Intrinsic resistance associated with concurrent FSTL5 mutations was detected and determined to be a consequence of YAP1 activation via a previously unappreciated FSTL5-Hippo pathway regulatory axis. This occurs in approximately 17% of KRAS-mutant lung cancers, and can be overcome with the co-administration of a YAP1-TEAD inhibitor. These findings indicate that clinically available XPO1 inhibitors are a promising therapeutic strategy for a considerable cohort of patients with lung cancer when coupled to genomics-guided patient selection and observation.

Horie M, Saito A, Ohshima M, et al.
YAP and TAZ modulate cell phenotype in a subset of small cell lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(12):1755-1766 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive and metastatic malignancy that shows rapid development of chemoresistance and a high rate of recurrence. Recent genome and transcriptome studies have provided the whole landscape of genomic alterations and gene expression changes in SCLC. In light of the inter-individual heterogeneity of SCLC, subtyping of SCLC might be helpful for prediction of therapeutic response and prognosis. Based on the transcriptome data of SCLC cell lines, we undertook transcriptional network-defined SCLC classification and identified a unique SCLC subgroup characterized by relatively high expression of Hippo pathway regulators Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) (YAP/TAZ subgroup). The YAP/TAZ subgroup displayed adherent cell morphology, lower expression of achaete-scute complex homolog 1 (ASCL1) and neuroendocrine markers, and higher expression of laminin and integrin. YAP knockdown caused cell morphological alteration reminiscent of floating growth pattern in many SCLC cell lines, and microarray analyses revealed a subset of genes regulated by YAP, including Ajuba LIM protein (AJUBA). AJUBA also contributed to cell morphology regulation. Of clinical importance, SCLC cell lines of the YAP/TAZ subgroup showed unique patterns of drug sensitivity. Our findings shed light on a subtype of SCLC with YAP and TAZ expression, and delineate molecular networks underlying the heterogeneity of SCLC.

Jiang GY, Zhang XP, Wang L, et al.
FBXO25 promotes cell proliferation, invasion, and migration of NSCLC.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):14311-14319 [PubMed] Related Publications
FBXO25 is a recently discovered protein that belongs to the Fbx class of the F-box family of proteins, and F-box proteins play a crucial role in tumorigenesis. However, the function of FBXO25 in cancer was not revealed so far. As measured by immunohistochemical staining, FBXO25 was highly expressed in the cytoplasm and nucleus of lung cancer samples (64.2 %, 136/212), compared with adjacent normal lung tissues (23.3 %, 7/30, p < 0.01). In addition, its expression was positively correlated with TNM staging (p < 0.001) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.017). The overall survival of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with FBXO25-positive expression (40.646 ± 1.745 months) was significantly reduced compared with those with FBXO25-negative expression (46.548 ± 2.176 months, p = 0.023). Consistently, we found that the proliferation, invasion, and migration capacity of A549 cells transfected with FBXO25 were significantly greater than those of control cells, while interference of FBXO25 could significantly inhibit cell proliferation, invasion, and migration in H1299 cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that FBXO25 could regulate the expression of β-catenin, YAP, some cyclins, and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Collectively, these results indicate that FBXO25 may promote the tumorigenicity of lung cancer cells and might serve as a novel therapeutic target of NSCLC.

Guo L, Zheng J, Zhang J, et al.
Knockdown of TAZ modifies triple-negative breast cancer cell sensitivity to EGFR inhibitors by regulating YAP expression.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(2):729-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) constitutes ~10-15% of breast cancer patients and represents an aggressive subtype with poor overall prognosis. TNBC is an important clinical challenge because it does not respond well to endocrine therapy and have a higher rate of early recurrence and distant metastasis following chemotherapy. Although it has been reported that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) was overexpressed in ~80% of TNBC, anti-EGFR therapy showed limited clinical benefit according to phase II studies. In this study, we first observed that knockdown of the transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding domain (TAZ) gene can regulate the sensitivity of TNBC cell lines to EGFR inhibitors (EGFRI) in a cell context-depended manner. Furthermore, in certain breast cancer cell lines the YES-associated protein, paralog of TAZ (YAP) expression can be upregulated by TAZ inhibition which leads to EGFRI resistance. These results suggest a specific inhibitor to TAZ/YAP combined with anti-EGFR therapy may prove effective and provide a reason why targeting EGFR showed limited clinical benefit in TNBC treatment.

Oh TG, Wang SC, Acharya BR, et al.
The Nuclear Receptor, RORγ, Regulates Pathways Necessary for Breast Cancer Metastasis.
EBioMedicine. 2016; 6:59-72 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
We have previously reported that RORγ expression was decreased in ER-ve breast cancer, and increased expression improves clinical outcomes. However, the underlying RORγ dependent mechanisms that repress breast carcinogenesis have not been elucidated. Here we report that RORγ negatively regulates the oncogenic TGF-β/EMT and mammary stem cell (MaSC) pathways, whereas RORγ positively regulates DNA-repair. We demonstrate that RORγ expression is: (i) decreased in basal-like subtype cancers, and (ii) inversely correlated with histological grade and drivers of carcinogenesis in breast cancer cohorts. Furthermore, integration of RNA-seq and ChIP-chip data reveals that RORγ regulates the expression of many genes involved in TGF-β/EMT-signaling, DNA-repair and MaSC pathways (including the non-coding RNA, LINC00511). In accordance, pharmacological studies demonstrate that an RORγ agonist suppresses breast cancer cell viability, migration, the EMT transition (microsphere outgrowth) and mammosphere-growth. In contrast, RNA-seq demonstrates an RORγ inverse agonist induces TGF-β/EMT-signaling. These findings suggest pharmacological modulation of RORγ activity may have utility in breast cancer.

Wang DY, Wu YN, Huang JQ, et al.
Hippo/YAP signaling pathway is involved in osteosarcoma chemoresistance.
Chin J Cancer. 2016; 35:47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma is the most common bone malignancy in children and adolescents, and 20%-30% of the patients suffer from poor prognosis because of individual chemoresistance. The Hippo/yes-associated protein (YAP) signaling pathway has been shown to play a role in tumor chemoresistance, but no previous report has focused on its involvement in osteosarcoma chemoresistance. This study aimed to investigate the role of the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway in osteosarcoma chemoresistance and to determine potential treatment targets.
METHODS: Using the Cell Titer-Glo Luminescent cell viability assay and flow cytometry analysis, we determined the proliferation and chemosensitivity of YAP-overexpressing and YAP-knockdown osteosarcoma cells. In addition, using western blotting and the real-time polymerase chain reaction technique, we investigated the alteration of the Hippo/YAP signaling pathway in osteosarcoma cells treated with chemotherapeutic agents.
RESULTS: Mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST1) degradation was increased, and large tumor suppressor kinase 1/2 (LATS1/2) total protein levels were decreased by methotrexate and doxorubicin, which increased activation and nuclear translocation of YAP. Moreover, YAP increased the proliferation and chemoresistance of MG63 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The Hippo/YAP signaling pathway plays a role in osteosarcoma chemoresistance, and YAP is a potential target for reducing chemoresistance.

Puglisi M, Stewart A, Thavasu P, et al.
Characterisation of the Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Pathway in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Cells Isolated from Pleural Effusions.
Oncology. 2016; 90(5):280-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We hypothesised that it was possible to quantify phosphorylation of important nodes in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway in cancer cells isolated from pleural effusions of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and study their correlation to somatic mutations and clinical outcomes.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cells were immunomagnetically separated from samples of pleural effusion in patients with NSCLC. p-AKT, p-S6K and p-GSK3β levels were quantified by ELISA; targeted next-generation sequencing was used to characterise mutations in 26 genes.
RESULTS: It was possible to quantify phosphoproteins in cells isolated from 38/43 pleural effusions. There was a significant correlation between p-AKT and p-S6K levels [r = 0.85 (95% confidence interval 0.73-0.92), p < 0.0001], but not p-AKT and p-GSK3β levels [r = 0.19 (95% confidence interval -0.16 to 0.5), p = 0.3]. A wide range of mutations was described and p-S6K was higher in samples that harboured at least one mutation compared to those that did not (p = 0.03). On multivariate analysis, p-S6K levels were significantly associated with poor survival (p < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Our study has shown a correlation between p-AKT levels and p-S6K, but not GSK3β, suggesting differences in regulation of the distal PI3K pathway by AKT. Higher p-S6K levels were associated with adverse survival, making it a critically important target in NSCLC.

Ayturk UM, Couto JA, Hann S, et al.
Somatic Activating Mutations in GNAQ and GNA11 Are Associated with Congenital Hemangioma.
Am J Hum Genet. 2016; 98(4):789-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Congenital hemangioma is a rare vascular tumor that forms in utero. Postnatally, the tumor either involutes quickly (i.e., rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma [RICH]) or partially regresses and stabilizes (i.e., non-involuting congenital hemangioma [NICH]). We hypothesized that congenital hemangiomas arise due to somatic mutation and performed massively parallel mRNA sequencing on affected tissue from eight participants. We identified mutually exclusive, mosaic missense mutations that alter glutamine at amino acid 209 (Glu209) in GNAQ or GNA11 in all tested samples, at variant allele frequencies (VAF) ranging from 3% to 33%. We verified the presence of the mutations in genomic DNA using a combination of molecular inversion probe sequencing (MIP-seq) and digital droplet PCR (ddPCR). The Glu209 GNAQ and GNA11 missense variants we identified are common in uveal melanoma and have been shown to constitutively activate MAPK and/or YAP signaling. When we screened additional archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) congenital cutaneous and hepatic hemangiomas, 4/8 had GNAQ or GNA11 Glu209 variants. The same GNAQ or GNA11 mutation is found in both NICH and RICH, so other factors must account for these tumors' different postnatal behaviors.

Li P, Silvis MR, Honaker Y, et al.
αE-catenin inhibits a Src-YAP1 oncogenic module that couples tyrosine kinases and the effector of Hippo signaling pathway.
Genes Dev. 2016; 30(7):798-811 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Cell-cell adhesion protein αE-catenin inhibits skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) development; however, the mechanisms responsible for this function are not completely understood. We report here that αE-catenin inhibits β4 integrin-mediated activation of SRC tyrosine kinase.SRCis the first discovered oncogene, but the protein substrate critical for SRC-mediated transformation has not been identified. We found that YAP1, the pivotal effector of the Hippo signaling pathway, is a direct SRC phosphorylation target, and YAP1 phosphorylation at three sites in its transcription activation domain is necessary for SRC-YAP1-mediated transformation. We uncovered a marked increase in this YAP1 phosphorylation in human and mouse SCC tumors with low/negative expression of αE-catenin. We demonstrate that the tumor suppressor function of αE-catenin involves negative regulation of the β4 integrin-SRC signaling pathway and that SRC-mediated phosphorylation and activation of YAP1 are an alternative to the canonical Hippo signaling pathway that directly connect oncogenic tyrosine kinase signaling with YAP1.

Bonilla X, Parmentier L, King B, et al.
Genomic analysis identifies new drivers and progression pathways in skin basal cell carcinoma.
Nat Genet. 2016; 48(4):398-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) of the skin is the most common malignant neoplasm in humans. BCC is primarily driven by the Sonic Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. However, its phenotypic variation remains unexplained. Our genetic profiling of 293 BCCs found the highest mutation rate in cancer (65 mutations/Mb). Eighty-five percent of the BCCs harbored mutations in Hh pathway genes (PTCH1, 73% or SMO, 20% (P = 6.6 × 10(-8)) and SUFU, 8%) and in TP53 (61%). However, 85% of the BCCs also harbored additional driver mutations in other cancer-related genes. We observed recurrent mutations in MYCN (30%), PPP6C (15%), STK19 (10%), LATS1 (8%), ERBB2 (4%), PIK3CA (2%), and NRAS, KRAS or HRAS (2%), and loss-of-function and deleterious missense mutations were present in PTPN14 (23%), RB1 (8%) and FBXW7 (5%). Consistent with the mutational profiles, N-Myc and Hippo-YAP pathway target genes were upregulated. Functional analysis of the mutations in MYCN, PTPN14 and LATS1 suggested their potential relevance in BCC tumorigenesis.

Qin H, Hejna M, Liu Y, et al.
YAP Induces Human Naive Pluripotency.
Cell Rep. 2016; 14(10):2301-12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
The human naive pluripotent stem cell (PSC) state, corresponding to a pre-implantation stage of development, has been difficult to capture and sustain in vitro. We report that the Hippo pathway effector YAP is nuclearly localized in the inner cell mass of human blastocysts. Overexpression of YAP in human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced PSCs (iPSCs) promotes the generation of naive PSCs. Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) can partially substitute for YAP to generate transgene-free human naive PSCs. YAP- or LPA-induced naive PSCs have a rapid clonal growth rate, a normal karyotype, the ability to form teratomas, transcriptional similarities to human pre-implantation embryos, reduced heterochromatin levels, and other hallmarks of the naive state. YAP/LPA act in part by suppressing differentiation-inducing effects of GSK3 inhibition. CRISPR/Cas9-generated YAP(-/-) cells have an impaired ability to form colonies in naive but not primed conditions. These results uncover an unexpected role for YAP in the human naive state, with implications for early human embryology.

Hua K, Jin J, Zhao J, et al.
miR-135b, upregulated in breast cancer, promotes cell growth and disrupts the cell cycle by regulating LATS2.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):1997-2006 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) plays a critical role in cancer progression. They can act as either oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes in human cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the crucial role of miR-135b in breast cancer and to validate whether miR-135b could regulate proliferation of breast cancer cells by effecting specific targets in the Hippo pathway. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was carried out to quantify the expression levels of miR-135b in both breast cancer tissues and cell lines. To characterize the function of miR-135b, MTT assays, colony formation assays, cell migration assays, cell invasion assays, and cell cycle assays were used. Luciferase reporter assays were performed to validate the regulation of a putative target of miR-135b, in corroboration with western blot assays. Finally, we verified the changes of cellular function after transfection of LATS2-siRNA. Our experiments indicate that expression of miR-135b was commonly upregulated in breast cancer specimens and breast cancer cells when compared with that in adjacent normal tissues and non-malignant breast epithelial cells. Enforced expression of miR-135b can regulate cellular proliferation, migration and invasion as well as disrupt the cell cycle of breast cancer cells. Luciferase assays revealed that miR-135b directly bound to the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of LATS2 (large tumor suppressor kinase 2), a critical gene in the Hippo pathway. Western blot analysis verified that miR-135b regulated the expression of LATS2 at protein levels. Further study demonstrated that the downstream gene of LATS2 in the Hippo pathway, such as cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) and Phospho-Yes-associated protein (p-YAP), can also be regulated by miR-135b and LATS2 axis. Knockdown of endogenous LATS2 can mimic the result of miR-135b up-regulation in breast cancer. Taken together, our findings reveal that the miR-135b and LATS2 axis may be a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer in the future.

Lee H, Hwang SJ, Kim HR, et al.
Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) controls the invasiveness of glioblastoma through YAP-dependent expression of CYR61/CCN1 and miR-296-3p.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1859(4):599-611 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive type of primary brain tumor derived from non-neuronal glial cells. Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) protein, also termed as merlin, is a well-known tumor suppressor; however, the molecular mechanism underlying this effect has not yet been fully defined. To investigate the role of NF2 in the invasiveness of GBM, we used two GBM cell lines: NF2-expressing T98G cells and NF2-deficient A172 cells. Knockdown of NF2 increased the invasiveness of T98G cells, whereas NF2-overexpressing A172 cells showed decreased invasive activity. Moreover, re-expression of NF2 reversed the high invasiveness of NF2-silenced T98G cells, indicating that NF2 negatively regulates GBM invasiveness. We further found that the NF2-mediated regulation of invasiveness was dependent on YAP and TEAD2 expression levels. NF2 also controlled the expression of YAP targets, including cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61 (CYR61/CCN1), by regulating the nuclear localization of YAP. Silencing of CYR61/CCN1 blocked the increased invasiveness of T98G cells, suggesting that CYR61/CCN1 is required for NF2-mediated invasiveness. Through microRNA microarray analysis, we found that NF2 negatively regulates the expression of miR-296-3p. Overexpression of miR-296-3p suppressed the expression of STAT5A, induced the phosphorylation of STAT3 by downregulating SOCS2, and increased the invasiveness of T98G cells. Taken together, we demonstrate that NF2 negatively controls the invasiveness of GBM through YAP-dependent induction of CYR61/CCN1 and miR-296-3p.

Lei L, Wu J, Gu D, et al.
CIZ1 interacts with YAP and activates its transcriptional activity in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):11073-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dysregulation of Hippo-Yes-associate protein (YAP) signaling has important roles in the tumorigenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Our previous studies have shown that Cip1 interacting zinc finger protein 1 (CIZ1) activated YAP signaling in the HCC cells and promoted the growth and migration of cancer cells. However, the mechanisms for the activation of YAP signaling by CIZ1 are unknown. In this study, it was found that CIZ1 interacted with the transcriptional factor YAP in HCC cells. The nuclear matrix anchor domain of CIZ1 is responsible for its interaction with YAP. Moreover, CIZ1 enhanced the interaction between YAP and TEAD. Knocking down the expression of CIZ1 impaired the transcriptional activity as well as the biological functions of YAP. Taken together, our study demonstrated that CIZ1 is a positive regulator of YAP signaling, and CIZ1 might be a therapeutic target for HCC.

Qin L, Dong Z, Zhang JT
14-3-3σ regulation of and interaction with YAP1 in acquired gemcitabine resistance via promoting ribonucleotide reductase expression.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(14):17726-36 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Gemcitabine is an important anticancer therapeutics approved for treatment of several human cancers including locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Its clinical effectiveness, however, is hindered by existence of intrinsic and development of acquired resistances. Previously, it was found that 14-3-3σ expression associates with poor clinical outcome of PDAC patients. It was also found that 14-3-3σ expression is up-regulated in gemcitabine resistant PDAC cells and contributes to the acquired gemcitabine resistance. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of 14-3-3σ function in gemcitabine resistance and found that 14-3-3σ up-regulates YAP1 expression and then binds to YAP1 to inhibit gemcitabine-induced caspase 8 activation and apoptosis. 14-3-3σ association with YAP1 up-regulates the expression of ribonucleotide reductase M1 and M2, which may mediate 14-3-3σ/YAP1 function in the acquired gemcitabine resistance. These findings suggest a possible role of YAP1 signaling in gemcitabine resistance.

Liang Z, Wang Y, Shen Z, et al.
Fascin 1 promoted the growth and migration of non-small cell lung cancer cells by activating YAP/TEAD signaling.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10909-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Fascin 1 (Fascin actin-bundling protein 1) is an actin-binding protein. Although several studies have reported the dysregulation of Fascin 1 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), its functions in the progression of NSCLC and the related molecular mechanism were not fully understood. In this study, the expression of Fascin 1 in NSCLC tissues was determined using quantitative PCR (qPCR), and the roles of Fascin 1 in the progression of NSCLC were investigated. It was found that both the messenger RNA (mRNA) level and the protein level of Fascin 1 were upregulated in NSCLC tissues. Forced expression of Fascin 1 promoted the growth and migration of NSCLC cells, while knocking down the expression of Fascin 1 inhibited the growth, migration, and tumorigenesis of NSCLC cells. Mechanism studies showed that Fascin 1 increased the transcriptional activity of the YAP/TEAD (Yes-associated protein/TEA domain transcriptional factor) complex, and knocking down the expression of Fascin 1 attenuated the expression of target genes downstream the YAP/TEAD complex. In addition, MST1 interacted with Fascin 1. Taken together, Fascin 1 plays an oncogenic role in NSCLC by activating the transcriptional activity of the YAP/TEAD complex.

Kim MH, Kim YK, Shin DH, et al.
Yes associated protein is a poor prognostic factor in well-differentiated lung adenocarcinoma.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(12):15933-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
The Hippo pathway is a highly conserved potent regulator of cell growth and apoptosis including large tumor suppressor (LATS) and Yes-associated protein (YAP). LATS has been regarded as a tumor suppressor gene and YAP as either of a tumor suppressor gene or an oncogene. We investigated their expression in lung adenocarcinoma. YAP and LATS protein expression was assessed in 167 surgically resected lung adenocarcinomas and compared with clinicopathologic factors. Disease free survival and overall survival were also evaluated. YAP expression was noted in cytoplasm (48 cases; 28.7%), nuclear (34; 20.4%) and both locations (4; 2.4%). The nuclear expression was typically observed in well differentiated adenocarcinoma. LATS was expressed in cytoplasm when its signal is weak. Perinuclear expression of LATS was observed when it is strongly expressed. While cytoplasmic and nuclear YAP expressions were inversely related. In well differentiated adenocarcinoma patients, YAP nuclear expression was related with more frequent relapse. Both of nuclear YAP and LATS expression were more frequently observed in well differentiated adenocarcinoma. Furthermore, YAP expression exhibited more frequent relapse in well differentiated adenocarcinoma group. We suggest that YAP may act as an oncogene and predict poorer prognosis in well differentiated lung adenocarcinoma.

Lehmann W, Mossmann D, Kleemann J, et al.
ZEB1 turns into a transcriptional activator by interacting with YAP1 in aggressive cancer types.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10498 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Early dissemination, metastasis and therapy resistance are central hallmarks of aggressive cancer types and the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths. The EMT-inducing transcriptional repressor ZEB1 is a crucial stimulator of these processes, particularly by coupling the activation of cellular motility with stemness and survival properties. ZEB1 expression is associated with aggressive behaviour in many tumour types, but the potent effects cannot be solely explained by its proven function as a transcriptional repressor of epithelial genes. Here we describe a direct interaction of ZEB1 with the Hippo pathway effector YAP, but notably not with its paralogue TAZ. In consequence, ZEB1 switches its function to a transcriptional co-activator of a 'common ZEB1/YAP target gene set', thereby linking two pathways with similar cancer promoting effects. This gene set is a predictor of poor survival, therapy resistance and increased metastatic risk in breast cancer, indicating the clinical relevance of our findings.

Casarini L, Simoni M, Brigante G
Is polycystic ovary syndrome a sexual conflict? A review.
Reprod Biomed Online. 2016; 32(4):350-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several studies have attempted to explain the high overall prevalence of polycystic ovary syndrome among women worldwide (about 4-10%) despite its link to subfertile phenotypes. For this reason, it is considered an evolutionary paradox. In this review, we show that several genetic loci associated with the disease differently modulate the reproductive parameters of men and women. This observation suggests that such genetic variants lead to opposite effects in the two sexes in reproductive success. Intralocus sexual conflict as a cause of the persistence polycystic ovary syndrome genotypes among humans is supported.

Xie C, Subhash VV, Datta A, et al.
Melanoma associated antigen (MAGE)-A3 promotes cell proliferation and chemotherapeutic drug resistance in gastric cancer.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2016; 39(2):175-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE)-A3 is a member of the family of cancer-testis antigens and has been found to be epigenetically regulated and aberrantly expressed in various cancer types. It has also been found that MAGE-A3 expression may correlate with an aggressive clinical course and with chemo-resistance. The objectives of this study were to assess the relationship between MAGE-A3 promoter methylation and expression and (1) gastric cancer patient survival and (2) its functional consequences in gastric cancer-derived cells.
METHODS: Samples from two independent gastric cancer cohorts (including matched non-malignant gastric samples) were included in this study. MAGE-A3 methylation and mRNA expression levels were determined by methylation-specific PCR (MSP) and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), respectively. MAGE-A3 expression was knocked down in MKN1 gastric cancer-derived cells using miRNAs. In addition, in vitro cell proliferation, colony formation, apoptosis, cell cycle, drug treatment, immunohistochemistry and Western blot assays were performed.
RESULTS: Clinical analysis of 223 primary patient-derived samples (ntumor = 161, nnormal = 62) showed a significant inverse correlation between MAGE-A3 promoter methylation and expression in the cancer samples (R = -0.63, p = 5.99e-19). A lower MAGE-A3 methylation level was found to be associated with a worse patient survival (HR: 1.5, 95 % CI: 1.02-2.37, p = 0.04). In addition, we found that miRNA-mediated knockdown of MAGE-A3 expression in MKN1 cells caused a reduction in its proliferation and colony forming capacities, respectively. Under stress conditions MAGE-A3 was found to regulate the expression of Bax and p21. MAGE-A3 knock down also led to an increase in Puma and Noxa expression, thus contributing to an enhanced docetaxel sensitivity in the gastric cancer-derived cells.
CONCLUSIONS: From our results we conclude that MAGE-A3 expression is regulated epigenetically by promoter methylation, and that its expression contributes to gastric cell proliferation and drug sensitivity. This study underscores the potential implications of MAGE-A3 as a therapeutic target and prognostic marker in gastric cancer patients.

Lee SJ, Yang WI, Chung WS, Kim SK
Epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas with TFE3 gene translocations are compossible with CAMTA1 gene rearrangements.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(7):7480-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas (EHEs) are vascular tumors of intermediate malignancy that can undergo high-grade malignant transformations. EHEs have been characterized by tumor-specific WW domain-containing transcription regulator 1(WWTR1)-calmodulin-binding transcription activator 1 (CAMTA1) translocations, and recently, a novel Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1)-transcription factor E3 (TFE3) gene fusion was identified in EHEs. In this study, we examined the expression levels of TFE3 and CAMTA1 via immunohistochemical staining and identified chromosomal alterations using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assays and RT-PCR tests. Although all of the EHEs were CAMTA1-positive in immunohistochemical staining, only five out of 18 EHEs (27.78%) positively expressed nuclear TFE3. The five TFE3-positive EHEs exhibited TFE3 gene break-apart in FISH assays. YAP1-TFE3 gene fusions were confirmed by RT-PCR. Interestingly, we observed CAMTA1 gene break-apart in all of the five TFE3-positive EHEs via FISH assays, and four out of the five TFE3-positive EHEs exhibited WWTR1-CAMTA1 gene fusions via RT-PCR. These results indicate that these two chromosomal alterations are not mutually exclusive but compossible in EHEs. Finally, primary tumor sites in TFE3-positive EHEs consistently contained single masses (P = 0.0359) with larger sizes (P = 0.0550) compared to TFE3-negative EHEs. Similar to previous reports, we observed well-formed vessels more frequently in TFE3-positive EHEs than in TFE3-negative EHEs (P = 0.0441). In addition, TFE3-positive EHEs tended to more frequently demonstrate high-grade nuclear atypia (P = 0.0654) and hypercellularity (P=0.0987) than TFE3-negative EHEs. Thus, we have now established two clinically distinct subgroups of EHEs: TFE3-positive and TFE3-negative EHEs.

Deng J, Lei W, Xiang X, et al.
Cullin 4A (CUL4A), a direct target of miR-9 and miR-137, promotes gastric cancer proliferation and invasion by regulating the Hippo signaling pathway.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(9):10037-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
Although Cullin 4A (CUL4A) is mutated or amplified in several human cancer types, its role in gastric cancer (GC) and the mechanisms underlying its regulation remain largely uncharacterized. In the present study, we report that the expression of CUL4A significantly correlated with the clinical stage of the tumor and lymph node metastasis, and survival rates were lower in GC patients with higher levels of CUL4A than in patients with lower CUL4A levels. The upregulation of CUL4A promoted GC cell proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by downregulating LATS1-Hippo-YAP signaling. Knocking down CUL4A had the opposite effect in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, CUL4A expression was inhibited by the microRNAs (miRNAs), miR-9 and miR-137, which directly targeted the 3'-UTR of CUL4A. Overexpression of miR-9 and miR-137 downregulated the CUL4A-LATS1-Hippo signaling pathway and suppressed GC cell proliferation and invasion in vitro. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that perturbations to miR-9/137-CUL4A-Hippo signaling contribute to gastric tumorigenesis, and suggest potential therapeutic targets for the future treatment of GC.

Liu X, Li H, Rajurkar M, et al.
Tead and AP1 Coordinate Transcription and Motility.
Cell Rep. 2016; 14(5):1169-80 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 06/04/2017 Related Publications
The Tead family transcription factors are the major intracellular mediators of the Hippo-Yap pathway. Despite the importance of Hippo signaling in tumorigenesis, Tead-dependent downstream oncogenic programs and target genes in cancer cells remain poorly understood. Here, we characterize Tead4-mediated transcriptional networks in a diverse range of cancer cells, including neuroblastoma, colorectal, lung, and endometrial carcinomas. By intersecting genome-wide chromatin occupancy analyses of Tead4, JunD, and Fra1/2, we find that Tead4 cooperates with AP1 transcription factors to coordinate target gene transcription. We find that Tead-AP1 interaction is JNK independent but engages the SRC1-3 co-activators to promote downstream transcription. Furthermore, we show that Tead-AP1 cooperation regulates the activity of the Dock-Rac/CDC42 module and drives the expression of a unique core set of target genes, thereby directing cell migration and invasion. Together, our data unveil a critical regulatory mechanism underlying Tead- and AP1-controlled transcriptional and functional outputs in cancer cells.

Rizvi S, Yamada D, Hirsova P, et al.
A Hippo and Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Autocrine Pathway in Cholangiocarcinoma.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(15):8031-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 08/04/2017 Related Publications
Herein, we have identified cross-talk between the Hippo and fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) oncogenic signaling pathways in cholangiocarcinoma (CCA). Yes-associated protein (YAP) nuclear localization and up-regulation of canonical target genes was observed in CCA cell lines and a patient-derived xenograft (PDX). Expression of FGFR1, -2, and -4 was identified in human CCA cell lines, driven, in part, by YAP coactivation of TBX5. In turn, FGFR signaling in a cell line with minimal basal YAP expression induced its cellular protein expression and nuclear localization. Treatment of YAP-positive CCA cell lines with BGJ398, a pan-FGFR inhibitor, resulted in a decrease in YAP activation. FGFR activation of YAP appears to be driven largely by FGF5 activation of FGFR2, as siRNA silencing of this ligand or receptor, respectively, inhibited YAP nuclear localization. BGJ398 treatment of YAP-expressing cells induced cell death due to Mcl-1 depletion. In a YAP-associated mouse model of CCA, expression of FGFR 1, 2, and 4 was also significantly increased. Accordingly, BGJ398 treatment was tumor-suppressive in this model and in a YAP-positive PDX model. These preclinical data suggest not only that the YAP and Hippo signaling pathways culminate in an Mcl-1-regulated tumor survival pathway but also that nuclear YAP expression may be a biomarker to employ in FGFR-directed therapy.

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