Transcriptional analysis of pluripotency reveals the Hippo pathway as a barrier to reprogramming.

Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research, and Diabetes Center, South San Francisco, CA, USA.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.68). 02/2012; 21(9):2054-67. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/dds023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pluripotent stem cells are derived from culture of early embryos or the germline and can be induced by reprogramming of somatic cells. Barriers to reprogramming that stabilize the differentiated state and have tumor suppression functions are expected to exist. However, we have a limited understanding of what such barriers might be. To find novel barriers to reprogramming to pluripotency, we compared the transcriptional profiles of the mouse germline with pluripotent and somatic cells, in vivo and in vitro. There is a remarkable global expression of the transcriptional program for pluripotency in primordial germ cells (PGCs). We identify parallels between PGC reprogramming to pluripotency and human germ cell tumorigenesis, including the loss of LATS2, a tumor suppressor kinase of the Hippo pathway. We show that knockdown of LATS2 increases the efficiency of induction of pluripotency in human cells. LATS2 RNAi, unlike p53 RNAi, specifically enhances the generation of fully reprogrammed iPS cells without accelerating cell proliferation. We further show that LATS2 represses reprogramming in human cells by post-transcriptionally antagonizing TAZ but not YAP, two downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway. These results reveal transcriptional parallels between germ cell transformation and the generation of iPS cells and indicate that the Hippo pathway constitutes a barrier to cellular reprogramming.

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    ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggests that some solid tumors, including ovarian cancer, contain distinct populations of stem cells that are responsible for tumor initiation, growth, chemo-resistance, and recurrence. The Hippo pathway has attracted considerable attention and some investigators have focused on YAP functions for maintaining stemness and cell differentiation. In this study, we successfully isolated the ovarian cancer initiating cells (OCICs) and demonstrated YAP promoted self-renewal of ovarian cancer initiated cell (OCIC) through its downstream co-activator TEAD. YAP and TEAD families were required for maintaining the expression of specific genes that may be involved in OCICs' stemness and chemoresistance. Taken together, our data first indicate that YAP/TEAD co-activator regulated ovarian cancer initiated cell pluripotency and chemo-resistance. It proposed a new mechanism on the drug resistance in cancer stem cell that Hippo-YAP signal pathway might serve as therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer treatment in clinical.
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    ABSTRACT: The Hippo pathway was originally identified as the signaling that controls organ size in Drosophila, with the core architecture conserved in mammals. In the mammalian Hippo pathway, mammalian Ste20-like kinases (MST1/2) and large tumor suppressor kinases (LATS1/2) regulate transcriptional co-activators, Yes-associated protein (YAP1) and Transcriptional co-activator with a PDZ-binding motif (TAZ). The Hippo pathway was initially thought to be quite straightforward; however, the identification of additional components has revealed its inherent complexity. Regulation of YAP1 and TAZ is not always dependent on MST1/2 and LATS1/2. MST1/2 and LATS1/2 play various YAP1/TAZ-independent roles, while YAP1 and TAZ cross-talk with other signaling pathways. In this review we focus on YAP1 and TAZ and discuss their regulation, function, and the consequences of their dysregulation.
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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the molecular nature of human cancer is essential to the development of effective and personalized therapies. Several different molecular signal transduction pathways drive tumorigenesis when deregulated and respond to different types of therapeutic interventions. The Hippo signaling pathway has been demonstrated to play a central role in the regulation of tissue and organ size during development. The deregulation of Hippo signaling leads to a concurrent combination of uncontrolled cellular proliferation and inhibition of apoptosis, two key hallmarks in cancer development. The molecular nature of this pathway was first uncovered in Drosophila melanogaster through genetic screens to identify regulators of cell growth and cell division. The pathway is strongly conserved in humans, rendering Drosophila a suitable and efficient model system to better understand the molecular nature of this pathway. In the present study, we review the current understanding of the molecular mechanism and clinical impact of the Hippo pathway. Current studies have demonstrated that a variety of deregulated molecules can alter Hippo signaling, leading to the constitutive activation of the transcriptional activator YAP or its paralog TAZ. Additionally, the Hippo pathway integrates inputs from a number of growth signaling pathways, positioning the Hippo pathway in a central role in the regulation of tissue size. Importantly, deregulated Hippo signaling is frequently observed in human cancers. YAP is commonly activated in a number of in vitro and in vivo models of tumorigenesis, as well as a number of human cancers. The common activation of YAP in many different tumor types provides an attractive target for potential therapeutic intervention.
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