Gene Summary

Gene:LATS1; large tumor suppressor kinase 1
Aliases: wts, WARTS
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a putative serine/threonine kinase that localizes to the mitotic apparatus and complexes with cell cycle controller CDC2 kinase in early mitosis. The protein is phosphorylated in a cell-cycle dependent manner, with late prophase phosphorylation remaining through metaphase. The N-terminal region of the protein binds CDC2 to form a complex showing reduced H1 histone kinase activity, indicating a role as a negative regulator of CDC2/cyclin A. In addition, the C-terminal kinase domain binds to its own N-terminal region, suggesting potential negative regulation through interference with complex formation via intramolecular binding. Biochemical and genetic data suggest a role as a tumor suppressor. This is supported by studies in knockout mice showing development of soft-tissue sarcomas, ovarian stromal cell tumors and a high sensitivity to carcinogenic treatments. Two protein-coding transcripts and one non-protein coding transcript have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2012]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:serine/threonine-protein kinase LATS1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (22)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 28 February 2015 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.

  • Protein Binding
  • beta Catenin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Tumor Suppressor Gene
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Tumor Markers
  • Messenger RNA
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Transfection
  • Research
  • Apoptosis
  • Protein Kinases
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • LATS1
  • Transcription
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Up-Regulation
  • Promoter Regions
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Signal Transduction
  • Soft Tissue Sarcoma
  • Young Adult
  • Xenograft Models
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • RNA Interference
  • Breast Cancer
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chromosome 6
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Signal Transducing Adaptor Proteins
  • Liver Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (2)

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: LATS1 (cancer-related)

Li W, Cooper J, Zhou L, et al.
Merlin/NF2 loss-driven tumorigenesis linked to CRL4(DCAF1)-mediated inhibition of the hippo pathway kinases Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(1):48-60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
It is currently unclear whether Merlin/NF2 suppresses tumorigenesis by activating upstream components of the Hippo pathway at the plasma membrane or by inhibiting the E3 ubiquitin ligase CRL4(DCAF1) in the nucleus. We found that derepressed CRL4(DCAF1) promotes YAP- and TEAD-dependent transcription by ubiquitylating and, thereby, inhibiting Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus. Genetic epistasis experiments and analysis of tumor-derived missense mutations indicate that this signaling connection sustains the oncogenicity of Merlin-deficient tumor cells. Analysis of clinical samples confirms that this pathway operates in NF2-mutant tumors. We conclude that derepressed CRL4(DCAF1) promotes activation of YAP by inhibiting Lats1 and 2 in the nucleus.

Lin XY, Zhang XP, Wu JH, et al.
Expression of LATS1 contributes to good prognosis and can negatively regulate YAP oncoprotein in non-small-cell lung cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(7):6435-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Large tumor suppressor (LATS) is a Ser/Thr kinase originally isolated from Drosophila. Recent studies demonstrate that LATS is an important member of the Hippo pathway which can regulate organ size and cell proliferation. However, little is known about the expression and clinical significance of LATS in lung cancer. In this study, we aimed to assess the clinical significance and biological functions of LATS1 in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We investigated the expression of LATS1 in 136 cases of NSCLC tissue and 30 cases of normal lung tissue by immunohistochemical staining. The results confirmed that LATS1 expression was higher in normal lung tissues, but significantly lower in NSCLC tissues. Moreover, the expression of LATS1 in NSCLC was significantly correlated with p-TNM stage (p = 0.038) and lymph node metastasis (p = 0.014). Importantly, the loss of LATS1 expression was associated with short overall survival. Further study in NSCLC cell lines in which LATS1 was either overexpressed or depleted confirmed that LATS1 markedly inhibited cell proliferation and invasion and could regulate the nuclear location of yes-associated protein (YAP). These results indicate that LATS1 may play an important role in NSCLC, and may serve as a novel therapeutic target of NSCLC.

Serrano I, McDonald PC, Lock F, et al.
Inactivation of the Hippo tumour suppressor pathway by integrin-linked kinase.
Nat Commun. 2013; 4:2976 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
One of the hallmarks of cancers is the silencing of tumour suppressor genes and pathways. The Hippo tumour suppressor pathway is inactivated in many types of cancers, leading to tumour progression and metastasis. However, the mechanisms of pathway inactivation in tumours remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that integrin-linked kinase (ILK) plays a critical role in the suppression of the Hippo pathway via phospho-inhibition of MYPT1-PP1, leading to inactivation of Merlin. Inhibition of ILK in breast, prostate and colon tumour cells results in the activation of the Hippo pathway components MST1 and LATS1 with concomitant inactivation of YAP/TAZ (Yes-associated protein/transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif) transcriptional co-activators and TEAD-mediated transcription. Genetic deletion of ILK suppresses ErbB2-driven YAP/TAZ activation in mammary tumours, and its pharmacological inhibition suppresses YAP activation and tumour growth in vivo. Our data demonstrate a role for ILK as a multiple receptor proximal regulator of Hippo tumour suppressor pathway and as a cancer therapeutic target.

Zhou GX, Li XY, Zhang Q, et al.
Effects of the hippo signaling pathway in human gastric cancer.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(9):5199-205 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The Hippo signaling pathway is a newly discovered and conserved signaling cascade, which regulates organ size control by governing cell proliferation and apoptosis. This study aimed to investigate its effects in human gastric cancer.
METHODS: Tumor tissues (n=60), adjacent non-tumor tissues (n=60) and normal tissues (n=60) were obtained from the same patients with primary gastric cancer (GC). In addition, 70 samples of chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) tissues were obtained from patients with intestinal metaplasia (IM) by endoscopic biopsy. Hippo signaling molecules, including Mst1, Lats1, YAP1, TAZ, TEAD1, Oct4 and CDX2, were determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Protein expression of Mst1, Lats1, YAP1, TEAD1 and CDX2 was assessed by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Mst1, Lats1 and Oct4 mRNA expression showed an increasing tendency from GC tissues to normal gastric tissues, while the mRNA expression of YAP1, TAZ and TEAD1 was up-regulated (all P<0.01). Mst1 and Lats1 protein expression presented a similar trend with their mRNA expression. In addition, YAP1 and TEAD1 protein expression in GC was significantly higher than in the other groups (all P<0.01). CDX2 mRNA and protein expression in the CAG group were higher than in the other groups (all P<0.01). In GC, mRNA expression of Mst1, Lats1, Oct4, YAP1, TAZ, TEAD1 and CDX2 had a close correlation with lymphatic metastasis and tumor TNM stage (all P<0.01). Furthermore, protein expression of Mst1, Lats1 ,YAP1, TAZ, TEAD1 and CDX2 had a close correlation between each other (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The Hippo signaling pathway is involved in the development, progression and metastasis of human gastric cancer. Therefore, manipulation of Hippo signaling molecules may be a potential therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Yu T, Bachman J, Lai ZC
Evidence for a tumor suppressor role for the large tumor suppressor genes LATS1 and LATS2 in human cancer.
Genetics. 2013; 195(3):1193-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The role of Large tumor suppressor LATS/Warts in human cancer is not clearly understood. Here we show that hLATS1/2 cancer mutations affect their expression and kinase activity. hLATS1/2 mutants exhibit a decreased activity in inhibiting YAP and tissue growth. Therefore, hLATS1/2 alleles from human cancer can be loss-of-function mutations.

Li XJ, Park ES, Park MH, Kim SM
3,3'-Diindolylmethane suppresses the growth of gastric cancer cells via activation of the Hippo signaling pathway.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(5):2419-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent studies have revealed that 3,3-diindolylmethane (DIM) has antitumor effects in both in vivo and in vitro tumor models. However, the biological function of DIM in human gastric cancer cells is unknown. Genetic and biological studies have confirmed the importance of the novel Hippo tumor-suppressor pathway in regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis, organ size and tumorigenesis in mammals. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic effects of DIM in human gastric cancer cells and to elucidate whether DIM induces cell death by activating the Hippo signaling pathway. Two human gastric cancer cell lines (SNU-1 and SNU-484) were used to investigate the DIM response. DIM significantly inhibited the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. The percentage of G1 phase cells increased 24 h following DIM treatment. DIM reduced CDK2, CDK4, CDK6 and cyclin D1 protein levels, while increasing p53 protein levels. DIM induced the levels of cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, cleaved-caspase-9, and diminished pro-caspase-3 protein production. In addition, DIM increased pLATS1, Mob1, pMob1, pYAP and Ras association domain family 1 (RASSF1) protein levels and reduced Yap protein production levels. DIM stimulated the binding of RASSF1 with the Mst1/2-LATS1-Mob1 complex, promoting an active Hippo signaling pathway and favoring YAP phosphorylation (pYAP) that inactivates cell proliferation. Furthermore, DIM inhibited the growth of human gastric tumors in a xenograft mouse model. These results indicate that DIM suppresses the growth of gastric cancer cells by activating the Hippo signaling pathway.

Yi C, Shen Z, Stemmer-Rachamimov A, et al.
The p130 isoform of angiomotin is required for Yap-mediated hepatic epithelial cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Sci Signal. 2013; 6(291):ra77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The Hippo-Yap signaling pathway regulates a number of developmental and adult cellular processes, including cell fate determination, tissue growth, and tumorigenesis. Members of the scaffold protein angiomotin (Amot) family interact with several Hippo pathway components, including Yap (Yes-associated protein), and either stimulate or inhibit Yap activity. We used a combination of genetic, biochemical, and transcriptional approaches to assess the functional consequences of the Amot-Yap interaction in mice and in human cells. Mice with a liver-specific Amot knockout exhibited reduced hepatic "oval cell" proliferation and tumorigenesis in response to toxin-induced injury or when crossed with mice lacking the tumor suppressor Nf2. Biochemical examination of the Amot-Yap interaction revealed that the p130 splicing isoform of Amot (Amot-p130) and Yap interacted in both the cytoplasm and nucleus, which involved binding of PPxY and LPxY motifs in Amot-p130 to WW domains of Yap. In the cytoplasm, Amot-p130 prevented the phosphorylation of Yap by blocking access of the WW domains to the kinase Lats1. Within the nucleus, Amot-p130 was associated with the transcriptional complex containing Yap and Teads (TEA domain family members) and contributed to the regulation of a subset of Yap target genes, many of which are associated with tumorigenesis. These findings indicated that Amot acts as a Yap cofactor, preventing Yap phosphorylation and augmenting its activity toward a specific set of genes that facilitate tumorigenesis.

Wierzbicki PM, Adrych K, Kartanowicz D, et al.
Underexpression of LATS1 TSG in colorectal cancer is associated with promoter hypermethylation.
World J Gastroenterol. 2013; 19(27):4363-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
AIM: To investigate large tumor suppressor 1 (LATS1) expression, promoter hypermethylation, and microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: RNA was isolated from tumor tissue of 142 CRC patients and 40 colon mucosal biopsies of healthy controls. After reverse transcription, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed, and LATS1 expression was normalized to expression of the ACTB and RPL32 housekeeping genes. To analyze hypermethylation, genomic DNA was isolated from 44 tumor CRC biopsies, and methylation-specific PCR was performed. Microsatellite instability (MSI) status was checked with PCR using BAT26, BAT25, and BAT40 markers in the genomic DNA of 84 CRC patients, followed by denaturing gel electrophoresis.
RESULTS: Decreased LATS1 expression was found in 127/142 (89.4%) CRC cases with the average ratio of the LATS1 level 10.33 ± 32.64 in CRC patients vs 32.85 ± 33.56 in healthy controls. The lowest expression was found in Dukes' B stage tumors and G1 (well-differentiated) cells. Hypermethylation of the LATS1 promoter was present in 25/44 (57%) CRC cases analyzed. LATS1 promoter hypermethylation was strongly associated with decreased gene expression; methylated cases showed 162× lower expression of LATS1 than unmethylated cases. Although high-grade MSI (mutation in all three markers) was found in 14/84 (17%) cases and low-grade MSI (mutation in 1-2 markers) was found in 30/84 (36%) cases, we found no association with LATS1 expression.
CONCLUSION: Decreased expression of LATS1 in CRC was associated with promoter hypermethylation, but not MSI status. Such reduced expression may promote progression of CRC.

Yeung B, Ho KC, Yang X
WWP1 E3 ligase targets LATS1 for ubiquitin-mediated degradation in breast cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e61027 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The Large Tumor Suppressor 1 (LATS1) is a serine/threonine kinase and tumor suppressor found down-regulated in various human cancers. LATS1 has recently been identified as a central player of the emerging Hippo signaling pathway, which plays important roles in organ size control, tumorigenesis, and stem cell differentiation and renewal, etc. Although mounting evidence supports a role of LATS1 in tumor suppression and tumorigenesis, how LATS1 is regulated at the molecular level is not fully understood. Recently several positive regulators of LATS1 (Mst1/2, MOB1, Kibra, etc) have been identified but how LATS1 is negatively regulated is still largely unknown. We have recently identified Itch, a member of the NEDD4-like family E3 ubiquitin ligases, as a novel negative regulator of LATS1. However, whether other ubiquitin ligases modulate LATS1 stability and function is unclear. By screening many E3 ligases of the NEDD4-like family using over-expression and short-interference RNA knockdown approaches, we have identified WWP1 E3 ligase as another novel negative regulator of LATS1. We have provided in vitro and in vivo evidence that WWP1 is essential for LATS1 stability and negatively regulate LATS1 by promoting LATS1 degradation through polyubiquitination and the 26S proteasome pathway. Importantly, we also showed that degradation of LATS1 is critical in mediating WWP1-induced increased cell proliferation in breast cancer cells. Since WWP1 is an oncogene and LATS1 is a tumor suppressor gene in breast cancer, our studies provide a promising therapeutic strategy in which developed drugs targeting WWP1 cause activation of LATS1 in suppressing breast cancer cell growth.

Romano D, Maccario H, Doherty C, et al.
The differential effects of wild-type and mutated K-Ras on MST2 signaling are determined by K-Ras activation kinetics.
Mol Cell Biol. 2013; 33(9):1859-68 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
K-Ras is frequently mutated in human cancers. Mutant (mt) K-Ras can stimulate both oncogenic transformation and apoptosis through activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and AKT pathways and the MST2 pathway, respectively. The biological outcome is determined by the balance and cross talk between these pathways. In colorectal cancer (CRC), a K-Ras mutation is negatively correlated with MST2 expression, as mt K-Ras can induce apoptosis by activating the MST2 pathway. However, wild-type (wt) K-Ras can prevent the activation of the MST2 pathway upon growth factor stimulation and enable transformation by mt K-Ras in CRC cells that express MST2. Here we have investigated the mechanism by which wt and mt K-Ras differentially regulate the MST2 pathway and MST2-dependent apoptosis. The ability of K-Ras to activate MST2 and MST2-dependent apoptosis is determined by the differential activation kinetics of mt K-Ras and wt K-Ras. Chronic activation of K-Ras by mutation or overexpression of Ras exchange factors results in the activation of MST2 and LATS1, increased MST2-LATS1 complex formation, and apoptosis. In contrast, transient K-Ras activation upon epidermal growth factor (EGF) stimulation prevents the formation of the MST2-LATS1 complex in an AKT-dependent manner. Our data suggest that the close relationship between Ras prosurvival and proapoptotic signaling is coordinated via the differential regulation of the MST2-LATS1 interaction by transient and chronic stimuli.

Hergovich A
YAP-Hippo signalling downstream of leukemia inhibitory factor receptor: implications for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2012; 14(6):326 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The proto-oncogenes YAP and TAZ have previously gained much attention as downstream effectors of Hippo tumour suppressor signalling. While the regulation of YAP/TAZ by MST/LATS kinases is reasonably well understood, the nature of factors functioning upstream of MST/LATS is yet to be elucidated in detail. A recent paper by Ma and co-workers defines a novel role for leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIFR) signalling upstream of the Hippo-YAP pathway in breast cancer metastasis. Moreover, a whole genome in vivo RNA interference screen by Lippmann and colleagues identified LIFR as a breast tumour suppressor. Here, we discuss the implications of these studies for breast cancer research and treatment.

Nishio M, Hamada K, Kawahara K, et al.
Cancer susceptibility and embryonic lethality in Mob1a/1b double-mutant mice.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(12):4505-18 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
Mps one binder 1a (MOB1A) and MOB1B are key components of the Hippo signaling pathway and are mutated or inactivated in many human cancers. Here we show that intact Mob1a or Mob1b is essential for murine embryogenesis and that loss of the remaining WT Mob1 allele in Mob1a(Δ/Δ)1b(tr/+) or Mob1a(Δ/+)1b(tr/tr) mice results in tumor development. Because most of these cancers resembled trichilemmal carcinomas, we generated double-mutant mice bearing tamoxifen-inducible, keratinocyte-specific homozygous-null mutations of Mob1a and Mob1b (kDKO mice). kDKO mice showed hyperplastic keratinocyte progenitors and defective keratinocyte terminal differentiation and soon died of malnutrition. kDKO keratinocytes exhibited hyperproliferation, apoptotic resistance, impaired contact inhibition, enhanced progenitor self renewal, and increased centrosomes. Examination of Hippo pathway signaling in kDKO keratinocytes revealed that loss of Mob1a/b altered the activities of the downstream Hippo mediators LATS and YAP1. Similarly, YAP1 was activated in some human trichilemmal carcinomas, and some of these also exhibited MOB1A/1B inactivation. Our results clearly demonstrate that MOB1A and MOB1B have overlapping functions in skin homeostasis, and exert their roles as tumor suppressors by regulating downstream elements of the Hippo pathway.

Katoh M
Function and cancer genomics of FAT family genes (review).
Int J Oncol. 2012; 41(6):1913-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
FAT1, FAT2, FAT3 and FAT4 are human homologs of Drosophila Fat, which is involved in tumor suppression and planar cell polarity (PCP). FAT1 and FAT4 undergo the first proteolytic cleavage by Furin and are predicted to undergo the second cleavage by γ‑secretase to release intracellular domain (ICD). Ena/VAPS‑binding to FAT1 induces actin polymerization at lamellipodia and filopodia to promote cell migration, while Scribble‑binding to FAT1 induces phosphorylation and functional inhibition of YAP1 to suppress cell growth. FAT1 is repressed in oral cancer owing to homozygous deletion or epigenetic silencing and is preferentially downregulated in invasive breast cancer. On the other hand, FAT1 is upregulated in leukemia and prognosis of preB‑ALL patients with FAT1 upregulation is poor. FAT4 directly interacts with MPDZ/MUPP1 to recruit membrane‑associated guanylate kinase MPP5/PALS1. FAT4 is involved in the maintenance of PCP and inhibition of cell proliferation. FAT4 mRNA is repressed in breast cancer and lung cancer due to promoter hypermethylation. FAT4 gene is recurrently mutated in several types of human cancers, such as melanoma, pancreatic cancer, gastric cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. FAT1 and FAT4 suppress tumor growth via activation of Hippo signaling, whereas FAT1 promotes tumor migration via induction of actin polymerization. FAT1 is tumor suppressive or oncogenic in a context‑dependent manner, while FAT4 is tumor suppressive. Copy number aberration, translocation and point mutation of FAT1, FAT2, FAT3, FAT4, FRMD1, FRMD6, NF2, WWC1, WWC2, SAV1, STK3, STK4, MOB1A, MOB1B, LATS1, LATS2, YAP1 and WWTR1/TAZ genes should be comprehensively investigated in various types of human cancers to elucidate the mutation landscape of the FAT‑Hippo signaling cascades. Because YAP1 and WWTR1 are located at the crossroads of adhesion, GPCR, RTK and stem‑cell signaling network, cancer genomics of the FAT signaling cascades could be applied for diagnostics, prognostics and therapeutics in the era of personalized medicine.

Ji T, Liu D, Shao W, et al.
Decreased expression of LATS1 is correlated with the progression and prognosis of glioma.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 31:67 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: LATS1 is a tumor suppressor genes implicated in the pathogenesis of certain types of tumors, but its role is not known in human glioma.
METHODS: Using real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry, we detected the mRNA and protein expression of LATS1 in glioma. The effect of LATS1 on cell growth and invasion were investigated.
RESULTS: We found that mRNA and protein of LATS1 expression is significantly downregulated in glioma compared with normal control brain tissues. Furthermore, reduced LATS1 expression was markedly negatively correlated with WHO grade and KPS (p<0.001 and p<0.001) in glioma patients. Patients with lower LATS1 expression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than did patients with higher LATS1 expression. Multivariate analysis suggested that the level of LATS1 expression was an independent prognostic indicator (p<0.001) for the survival of patients with glioma. Forced expression of LATS1 in glioma U251 cells not only significantly suppressed cell growth, migration and invasion, but retarded cell cycle progression from G2/M to G1 in vitro. Finally, we found that overexpressed LATS1 markedly inhibited the expression level of cell cycle factor CCNA1.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that LATS1 is an important candidate tumor suppressor and its downregulated expression may contribute to glioma progression.

Yu FX, Zhao B, Panupinthu N, et al.
Regulation of the Hippo-YAP pathway by G-protein-coupled receptor signaling.
Cell. 2012; 150(4):780-91 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The Hippo pathway is crucial in organ size control, and its dysregulation contributes to tumorigenesis. However, upstream signals that regulate the mammalian Hippo pathway have remained elusive. Here, we report that the Hippo pathway is regulated by G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling. Serum-borne lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and sphingosine 1-phosphophate (S1P) act through G12/13-coupled receptors to inhibit the Hippo pathway kinases Lats1/2, thereby activating YAP and TAZ transcription coactivators, which are oncoproteins repressed by Lats1/2. YAP and TAZ are involved in LPA-induced gene expression, cell migration, and proliferation. In contrast, stimulation of Gs-coupled receptors by glucagon or epinephrine activates Lats1/2 kinase activity, thereby inhibiting YAP function. Thus, GPCR signaling can either activate or inhibit the Hippo-YAP pathway depending on the coupled G protein. Our study identifies extracellular diffusible signals that modulate the Hippo pathway and also establishes the Hippo-YAP pathway as a critical signaling branch downstream of GPCR.

Zhi X, Zhao D, Zhou Z, et al.
YAP promotes breast cell proliferation and survival partially through stabilizing the KLF5 transcription factor.
Am J Pathol. 2012; 180(6):2452-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Yes-associated protein (YAP), an oncoprotein in the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway, regulates tumorigenesis and has been found in a variety of tumors, including breast, ovarian, and hepatocellular cancers. Although YAP functions through its WW domains, the YAP WW domain-binding partners have not yet been completely determined. With this study, we demonstrate that YAP functions partially through its binding to KLF5, a transcription factor that promotes breast cell proliferation and survival. YAP interacted with the KLF5 PY motif through its WW domains, preventing the E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP1 from ubiquitinating KLF5. Overexpression of the wild-type YAP but not the WW domain-mutated YAP up-regulated KLF5 protein levels and mRNA expression levels of KLF5 downstream target genes, including FGFBP1 (alias FGF-BP) and ITGB2. In addition, knockdown of YAP decreased expression levels of KLF5, FGF-BP, and ITGB2. Depletion of either YAP or KLF5 decreased breast cell proliferation and survival in MCF10A and SW527 breast cell lines, and stable knockdown of either YAP or KLF5 suppressed SW527 xenograft growth in mice. The YAP upstream kinase LATS1 suppressed the KLF5-FGF-BP axis, as well as cell growth through YAP signaling. Both YAP and KLF5 are coexpressed in estrogen receptor ERα-negative breast cell lines. These findings suggest that KLF5 could be an important transcription factor partner for YAP and may contribute to the Hippo pathway.

Moleirinho S, Chang N, Sims AH, et al.
KIBRA exhibits MST-independent functional regulation of the Hippo signaling pathway in mammals.
Oncogene. 2013; 32(14):1821-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Salvador/Warts/Hippo (Hippo) signaling pathway defines a novel signaling cascade regulating cell contact inhibition, organ size control, cell growth, proliferation, apoptosis and cancer development in mammals. The upstream regulation of this pathway has been less well defined than the core kinase cassette. KIBRA has been shown to function as an upstream member of the Hippo pathway by influencing the phosphorylation of LATS and YAP, but functional consequences of these biochemical changes have not been previously addressed. We show that in MCF10A cells, loss of KIBRA expression displays epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) features, which are concomitant with decreased LATS and YAP phosphorylation, but not MST1/2. In addition, ectopic KIBRA expression antagonizes YAP via the serine 127 phosphorylation site and we show that KIBRA, Willin and Merlin differentially regulate genes controlled by YAP. Finally, reduced KIBRA expression in primary breast cancer specimens correlates with the recently described claudin-low subtype, an aggressive sub-group with EMT features and a poor prognosis.

Matallanas D, Romano D, Al-Mulla F, et al.
Mutant K-Ras activation of the proapoptotic MST2 pathway is antagonized by wild-type K-Ras.
Mol Cell. 2011; 44(6):893-906 [PubMed] Related Publications
K-Ras mutations are frequent in colorectal cancer (CRC), albeit K-Ras is the only Ras isoform that can elicit apoptosis. Here, we show that mutant K-Ras directly binds to the tumor suppressor RASSF1A to activate the apoptotic MST2-LATS1 pathway. In this pathway LATS1 binds to and sequesters the ubiquitin ligase Mdm2 causing stabilization of the tumor suppressor p53 and apoptosis. However, mutant Ras also stimulates autocrine activation of the EGF receptor (EGFR) which counteracts mutant K-Ras-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, this protection requires the wild-type K-Ras allele, which inhibits the MST2 pathway in part via AKT activation. Confirming the pathophysiological relevance of the molecular findings, we find a negative correlation between K-Ras mutation and MST2 expression in human CRC patients and CRC mouse models. The small number of tumors with co-expression of mutant K-Ras and MST2 has elevated apoptosis rates. Thus, in CRC, mutant K-Ras transformation is supported by the wild-type allele.

Li H, Wolfe A, Septer S, et al.
Deregulation of Hippo kinase signalling in human hepatic malignancies.
Liver Int. 2012; 32(1):38-47 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cholangiocarcinoma (CC) and hepatoblastoma (HB) are the main hepatic malignancies with limited treatment options and high mortality. Recent studies have implicated Hippo kinase pathway in cancer development, but detailed analysis of Hippo kinase signalling in human hepatic malignancies, especially CC and HB, is lacking.
METHODS: We investigated Hippo kinase signalling in HCC, CC and HB using cells and patient samples.
RESULTS: Increased expression of yes-associated protein (Yap), the downstream effector of the Hippo kinase pathway, was observed in HCC cells, and siRNA-mediated knockdown of Yap resulted in decreased survival of HCC cells. The density-dependent activation of Hippo kinase pathway characteristic of normal cells was not observed in HCC cells and CCLP cells, a cholangiocarcinoma cell line. Immunohistochemistry of Yap in HCC, CC and HB tissues indicated extensive nuclear localization of Yap in majority of tissues. Western blot analysis performed using total cell extracts from patient samples and normal livers showed extensive activation of Yap. Marked induction of Glypican-3, CTGF and Survivin, the three Yap target genes was observed in the tumour samples. Further analysis revealed significant decrease in expression and activity of Lats kinase, the main upstream regulator of Yap. However, no change in activation of Mst-2 kinase, the upstream regulator of Lats kinase was observed.
CONCLUSIONS: These data show that Yap induction mediated by inactivation of Lats is observed in hepatic malignancies. These studies highlight Hippo kinase pathway as a novel therapeutic target for hepatic malignancies.

Zhao D, Zhi X, Zhou Z, Chen C
TAZ antagonizes the WWP1-mediated KLF5 degradation and promotes breast cell proliferation and tumorigenesis.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(1):59-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) is a PY motif-containing transcription factor promoting breast cell proliferation. The KLF5 protein is rapidly degraded through the proteasome after ubiquitination by E3 ubiquitin ligases, such as WWP1 and SCF(Fbw7). In this study, we demonstrated that a transcriptional co-activator with the PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) upregulated the KLF5 expression through antagonizing the WWP1-, but not Fbw7-, mediated KLF5 ubiquitination and degradation. TAZ interacted with KLF5 through the WW domain of TAZ and the PY motif of KLF5, which is the binding site for WWP1. TAZ inhibited WWP1-KLF5 protein interaction and WWP1-mediated KLF5 ubiquitination and degradation in a WW domain-dependent manner. Overexpression of TAZ upregulated the protein levels of KLF5 and FGF-BP, which is a well-established KLF5 target gene. In addition, depletion of TAZ in both 184A1 and HCC1937 breast cells downregulated protein levels of KLF5 and FGF-BP and inhibited cell growth. Furthermore, stable depletion of either TAZ or KLF5 significantly suppressed HCC1937 xenograft growth in immunodeficient mice. Knockdown of LATS1, a TAZ upstream inhibitory kinase, up-regulated the protein levels of KLF5 and FGF-BP in 184A1 and promoted cell growth through TAZ. Finally, both KLF5 and TAZ were co-expressed in a subset of estrogen receptor α-negative breast cell lines. These results, for the first time, suggest that TAZ promotes breast cell growth partially through protecting KLF5 from WWP1-mediated degradation and enhancing KLF5's activities.

Visser-Grieve S, Hao Y, Yang X
Human homolog of Drosophila expanded, hEx, functions as a putative tumor suppressor in human cancer cell lines independently of the Hippo pathway.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(9):1189-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Hippo signaling network is proving to be an essential regulator within the cell, participating in multiple cellular phenotypes including cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell migration and organ size control. Much of this pathway is conserved from flies to mammals; however, how the upstream components, namely Expanded, affect downstream processes in mammalian systems has remained elusive. Only recently has human Expanded (hEx), also known as FRMD6 or Willin, been identified. However, its functional significance with respect to its putative tumor suppressor function and activation of the Hippo pathway has not been studied. In this study, we show for the first time that hEx possesses several tumor suppressor properties. First, hEx dramatically inhibits cell proliferation in two human cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-436 cells, and sensitizes these cells to the chemotherapeutic drug Taxol. Furthermore, downregulation of hEx in the immortalized MCF10A breast cell line leads to enhanced proliferation and resistance to Taxol treatment. As evidence for its tumor suppressor function, overexpression of hEx inhibits colony formation, soft agar colony growth in vitro and in vivo tumor growth in nude mice. Although Drosophila expanded (ex) can activate the Hippo pathway, surprisingly no significant alterations were discovered in the phosphorylation status of any of the Hippo pathway components, including downstream tumor suppressor LATS1, upon overexpression of hEx. In addition, knockdown of both LATS1 and LATS2 in hEx-overexpressing cells was unable to rescue the hEx phenotype, suggesting that hEx functions independently of the Hippo pathway in this cell line. Alternatively, we propose a mechanism through which hEx inhibits progression through the S phase of the cell cycle by upregulating p21(Cip1) and downregulating Cyclin A. This is the first study to functionally characterize hEx and show that hEx acts in a distinct manner compared with Drosophila expanded.

Habbig S, Bartram MP, Müller RU, et al.
NPHP4, a cilia-associated protein, negatively regulates the Hippo pathway.
J Cell Biol. 2011; 193(4):633-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
The conserved Hippo signaling pathway regulates organ size in Drosophila melanogaster and mammals and has an essential role in tumor suppression and the control of cell proliferation. Recent studies identified activators of Hippo signaling, but antagonists of the pathway have remained largely elusive. In this paper, we show that NPHP4, a known cilia-associated protein that is mutated in the severe degenerative renal disease nephronophthisis, acts as a potent negative regulator of mammalian Hippo signaling. NPHP4 directly interacted with the kinase Lats1 and inhibited Lats1-mediated phosphorylation of the Yes-associated protein (YAP) and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding domain), leading to derepression of these protooncogenic transcriptional regulators. Moreover, NPHP4 induced release from 14-3-3 binding and nuclear translocation of YAP and TAZ, promoting TEA domain (TEAD)/TAZ/YAP-dependent transcriptional activity. Consistent with these data, knockdown of NPHP4 negatively affected cellular proliferation and TEAD/TAZ activity, essentially phenocopying loss of TAZ function. These data identify NPHP4 as a negative regulator of the Hippo pathway and suggest that NPHP4 regulates cell proliferation through its effects on Hippo signaling.

Visser S, Yang X
LATS tumor suppressor: a new governor of cellular homeostasis.
Cell Cycle. 2010; 9(19):3892-903 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence points to the LATS (Large Tumor Suppressor) family of human tumor suppressors (LATS1 and LATS2) as new resident governors of cellular homeostasis. Loss of function of either LATS1 or LATS2 leads to a variety of tumor types including soft tissue sarcomas, leukemia, as well as breast, prostate, lung and esophageal cancers. Due to their high degree of homology and functional overlap, LATS1 and LATS2 comprise a new tumor suppressor family. Classically identified within the Hippo-LATS signaling pathway, LATS also acts independently of this pathway, possessing multiple functions including regulation of cell proliferation, cell death and cell migration, as well as broad governing roles such as transcriptional regulation and maintenance of genetic stability. Activity of LATS is tightly controlled through various mechanisms including post-translational modifications, differential localization and expression. Although little is known about the specific underlying mechanisms of these activities, current data suggest that LATS signaling intersects with well-established tumor suppressive or oncogenic pathways including the p53, Ras or Akt networks. This review aims to identify what we know about the LATS tumor suppressor family, highlighting LATS1 and LATS2 redundancies and differences in terms of their structure, expression, regulation and functions, thereby establishing a novel tumor suppressor network.

Huntoon CJ, Nye MD, Geng L, et al.
Heat shock protein 90 inhibition depletes LATS1 and LATS2, two regulators of the mammalian hippo tumor suppressor pathway.
Cancer Res. 2010; 70(21):8642-50 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
Heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), which regulates the functions of multiple oncogenic signaling pathways, has emerged as a novel anticancer therapeutic target, and multiple small-molecule HSP90 inhibitors are now in clinical trials. Although the effects of HSP90 inhibitors on oncogenic signaling pathways have been extensively studied, the effects of these agents on tumor suppressor signaling pathways are currently unknown. Here, we have examined how HSP90 inhibitors affect LATS1 and the related protein LATS2, two kinases that relay antiproliferative signals in the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway. Both LATS1 and LATS2 were depleted from cells treated with the HSP90 inhibitors 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), radicicol, and PU-H71. Moreover, these kinases interacted with HSP90, and LATS1 isolated from 17-AAG-treated cells had reduced catalytic activity, thus showing that the kinase is a bona fide HSP90 client. Importantly, LATS1 signaling was disrupted by 17-AAG in tumor cell lines in vitro and clinical ovarian cancers in vivo as shown by reduced levels of LATS1 and decreased phosphorylation of the LATS substrate YAP, an oncoprotein transcriptional coactivator that regulates genes involved in cell and tissue growth, including the CTGF gene. Consistent with the reduced YAP phosphorylation, there were increased levels of CTGF, a secreted protein that is implicated in tumor proliferation, metastasis, and angiogenesis. Taken together, these results identify LATS1 and LATS2 as novel HSP90 clients and show that HSP90 inhibitors can disrupt the LATS tumor suppressor pathway in human cancer cells.

Steinmann K, Sandner A, Schagdarsurengin U, Dammann RH
Frequent promoter hypermethylation of tumor-related genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2009; 22(6):1519-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck (HNSCC) are a result of multiple genetic and epigenetic alterations. Epigenetic inactivation of tumor suppressor genes is an important event in head and neck carcinogenesis. Here we analyzed the promoter methylation of 15 genes (RASSF1A, p16, MGMT, DAPK, RARbeta, MLH1, CDH1, GSTP1, RASSF2, RASSF4, RASSF5, MST1, MST2, LATS1, LATS2) in 54 HNSCC and in matching 23 normal tissues. Methylation of these tumor-related genes (TRG) was significantly more frequent in HNSCC (42%) compared to normal samples (23%; p<0.05). Particularly, methylation of p16 (60%), MGMT (53%), DAPK (67%), RARbeta (75%), MLH1 (69%), CDH1 (43%), RASSF5 and MST1 (96%) was often found in HNSCC. Methylation of RASSF1A (18%), GSTP1 (4%), RASSF4 (13%), MST2 (4%), LATS1 (24%) and LATS2 (8%) was less frequently detected. A trend of increased TRG methylation in more advanced tumor stages and less differentiated HNSCC was observed. Methylation of p16 was significantly higher in poorly differentiated HNSCC (p=0.037) and RASSF5 methylation occurred preferentially in advanced tumor stages (p<0.05). Methylation of RASSF4 was higher in patients with recurrent HNSCC (23%) than patients without relapse (0%; p=0.033). Methylation of TRG in head and neck cancer cell lines was observed at similar frequency as in primary HNSCC. In summary, frequent hyper-methylation of tumor-related genes in HNSCC was detected and this epigenetic silencing event may have an essential role in head and neck carcinogenesis.

Zhou D, Conrad C, Xia F, et al.
Mst1 and Mst2 maintain hepatocyte quiescence and suppress hepatocellular carcinoma development through inactivation of the Yap1 oncogene.
Cancer Cell. 2009; 16(5):425-38 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
Hippo-Lats-Yorkie signaling regulates tissue overgrowth and tumorigenesis in Drosophila. We show that the Mst1 and Mst2 protein kinases, the mammalian Hippo orthologs, are cleaved and constitutively activated in the mouse liver. Combined Mst1/2 deficiency in the liver results in loss of inhibitory Ser127 phosphorylation of the Yorkie ortholog, Yap1, massive overgrowth, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Reexpression of Mst1 in HCC-derived cell lines promotes Yap1 Ser127 phosphorylation and inactivation and abrogates their tumorigenicity. Notably, Mst1/2 inactivates Yap1 in liver through an intermediary kinase distinct from Lats1/2. Approximately 30% of human HCCs show low Yap1(Ser127) phosphorylation and a majority exhibit loss of cleaved, activated Mst1. Mst1/2 inhibition of Yap1 is an important pathway for tumor suppression in liver relevant to human HCC.

Kishnani PS, Chuang TP, Bali D, et al.
Chromosomal and genetic alterations in human hepatocellular adenomas associated with type Ia glycogen storage disease.
Hum Mol Genet. 2009; 18(24):4781-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) is a frequent long-term complication of glycogen storage disease type I (GSD I) and malignant transformation to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is known to occur in some cases. However, the molecular pathogenesis of tumor development in GSD I is unclear. This study was conducted to systematically investigate chromosomal and genetic alterations in HCA associated with GSD I. Genome-wide SNP analysis and mutation detection of target genes was performed in ten GSD Ia-associated HCA and seven general population HCA cases for comparison. Chromosomal aberrations were detected in 60% of the GSD Ia HCA and 57% of general population HCA. Intriguingly, simultaneous gain of chromosome 6p and loss of 6q were only seen in GSD Ia HCA (three cases) with one additional GSD I patient showing submicroscopic 6q14.1 deletion. The sizes of GSD Ia adenomas with chromosome 6 aberrations were larger than the sizes of adenomas without the changes (P = 0.012). Expression of IGF2R and LATS1 candidate tumor suppressor genes at 6q was reduced in more than 50% of GSD Ia HCA that were examined (n = 7). None of the GSD Ia HCA had biallelic mutations in the HNF1A gene. These findings give the first insight into the distinct genomic and genetic characteristics of HCA associated with GSD Ia. These results strongly suggest that chromosome 6 alterations could be an early event in the liver tumorigenesis in GSD I, and may be in general population. These results also suggest an interesting relationship between GSD Ia HCA and steps to HCC transformation.

Siam R, Harada R, Cadieux C, et al.
Transcriptional activation of the Lats1 tumor suppressor gene in tumors of CUX1 transgenic mice.
Mol Cancer. 2009; 8:60 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/07/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lats1 (large tumor suppressor 1) codes for a serine/threonine kinase that plays a role in the progression through mitosis. Genetic studies demonstrated that the loss of LATS1 in mouse, and of its ortholog wts (warts) in Drosophila, is associated with increased cancer incidence. There are conflicting reports, however, as to whether overexpression of Lats1 inhibits cell proliferation. CUX1 is a transcription factor that exists in different isoforms as a result of proteolytic processing or alternative transcription initiation. Expression of p110 and p75 CUX1 in transgenic mice increases the susceptibility to cancer in various organs and tissues. In tissue culture, p110 CUX1 was shown to accelerate entry into S phase and stimulate cell proliferation.
RESULTS: Genome-wide location arrays in cell lines of various cell types revealed that Lats1 was a transcriptional target of CUX1. Scanning ChIP analysis confirmed that CUX1 binds to the immediate promoter of Lats1. Expression of Lats1 was reduced in cux1-/- MEFs, whereas it was increased in cells stably or transiently expressing p110 or p75 CUX1. Reporter assays confirmed that the immediate promoter of Lats1 was sufficient to confer transcriptional activation by CUX1. Lats1 was found to be overexpressed in tumors from the mammary gland, uterus and spleen that arise in p110 or p75 CUX1 transgenic mice. In tissue culture, such elevated LATS1 expression did not hinder cell cycle progression in cells overexpressing p110 CUX1.
CONCLUSION: While inactivation of Lats1/wts in mouse and Drosophila can increase cancer incidence, results from the present study demonstrate that Lats1 is a transcriptional target of CUX1 that can be overexpressed in tumors of various tissue-types. Interestingly, two other studies documented the overexpression of LATS1 in human cervical cancers and basal-like breast cancers. We conclude that, similarly to other genes involved in mitotic checkpoint, cancer can be associated with either loss-of-function or overexpression of Lats1.

Kawahara M, Hori T, Chonabayashi K, et al.
Kpm/Lats2 is linked to chemosensitivity of leukemic cells through the stabilization of p73.
Blood. 2008; 112(9):3856-66 [PubMed] Related Publications
Down-regulation of the Kpm/Lats2 tumor suppressor is observed in various malignancies and associated with poor prognosis in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. We documented that Kpm/Lats2 was markedly decreased in several leukemias that were highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Silencing of Kpm/Lats2 expression in leukemic cells did not change the rate of cell growth but rendered the cells more resistant to DNA damage-inducing agents. Expression of p21 and PUMA was strongly induced by these agents in control cells, despite defective p53, but was only slightly induced in Kpm/Lats2-knockdown cells. DNA damage-induced nuclear accumulation of p73 was clearly observed in control cells but hardly detected in Kpm/Lats2-knockdown cells. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay showed that p73 was recruited to the PUMA gene promoter in control cells but not in Kpm/Lats2-knockdown cells after DNA damage. The analyses with transient coexpression of Kpm/Lats2, YAP2, and p73 showed that Kpm/Lats2 contributed the stability of YAP2 and p73, which was dependent on the kinase function of Kpm/Lats2 and YAP2 phosphorylation at serine 127. Our results suggest that Kpm/Lats2 is involved in the fate of p73 through the phosphorylation of YAP2 by Kpm/Lats2 and the induction of p73 target genes that underlie chemosensitivity of leukemic cells.

Tuttle RL, Bothos J, Summers MK, et al.
Defective in mitotic arrest 1/ring finger 8 is a checkpoint protein that antagonizes the human mitotic exit network.
Mol Cancer Res. 2007; 5(12):1304-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
A molecular pathway homologous to the S. cerevisiae mitotic exit network (MEN) and S. pombe septation initiation network has recently been described in higher eukaryotes and involves the tumor suppressor kinase LATS1 and its subunit MOB1A. The yeast MEN/septation initiation network pathways are regulated by the ubiquitin ligase defective in mitotic arrest 1 (Dma1p), a checkpoint protein that helps maintain prometaphase arrest when cells are exposed to microtubule poisons. We identified here the RING domain protein ring finger 8 (RNF8) as the human orthologue of the yeast protein Dma1p. Like its yeast counterparts, human DMA1/RNF8 localized at the midbody and its depletion by siRNA compromised mitotic arrest of nocodazole-treated cells in a manner dependent on the MEN. Depletion of MAD2, a spindle checkpoint protein, also compromised mitotic arrest, but in a MEN-independent manner. Thus, two distinct checkpoint pathways maintain mitotic arrest in cells exposed to microtubule poisons.

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