Opposing activities of the Ras and Hippo pathways converge on regulation of YAP protein turnover

Hong X, Nguyen HT, Chen Q, Zhang R, Hagman Z, Voorhoeve PM, Cohen SM
Source: EMBO J
Publication Date: (2014)
Issue: 33(21): 2447-57
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cancer genomes accumulate numerous genetic and epigenetic modifications. Yet, human cellular transformation can be accomplished by a few genetically defined elements. These elements activate key pathways required to support replicative immortality and anchorage independent growth, a predictor of tumorigenesis in vivo. Here, we provide evidence that the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway is a key barrier to Ras-mediated cellular transformation. The Hippo pathway targets YAP1 for degradation via the ßTrCP-SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. In contrast, the Ras pathway acts oppositely, to promote YAP1 stability through downregulation of the ubiquitin ligase complex substrate recognition factors SOCS5/6. Depletion of SOCS5/6 or upregulation of YAP1 can bypass the requirement for oncogenic Ras in anchorage independent growth in vitro and tumor formation in vivo. Through the YAP1 target, Amphiregulin, Ras activates the endogenous EGFR pathway, which is required for transformation. Thus, the oncogenic activity of Ras(V12) depends on its ability to counteract Hippo pathway activity, creating a positive feedback loop, which depends on stabilization of YAP1.