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Keywords:

  • F-actin;
  • Galpha12/13;
  • G protein-coupled receptors;
  • hippo;
  • TAZ;
  • YAP

Abstract

The Hippo pathway, a cascade of protein kinases that inhibits the oncogenic transcriptional coactivators YAP and TAZ, was discovered in Drosophila as a major determinant of organ size in development. Known modes of regulation involve surface proteins that mediate cell-cell contact or determine epithelial cell polarity which, in a tissue-specific manner, use intracellular complexes containing FERM domain and actin-binding proteins to modulate the kinase activities or directly sequester YAP. Unexpectedly, recent work demonstrates that GPCRs, especially those signaling through Galpha12/13 such as the protease activated receptor PAR1, cause potent YAP dephosphorylation and activation. This response requires active RhoA GTPase and increased assembly of filamentous (F-)actin. Morever, cell architectures that promote F-actin assembly per se also activate YAP by kinase-dependent and independent mechanisms. These findings unveil the ability of GPCRs to activate the YAP oncogene through a newly recognized signaling function of the actin cytoskeleton, likely to be especially important for normal and cancerous stem cells.