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Oncogene. 2013 Aug 29;32(35):4100-9. doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.431. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

LKB1 tumor suppressor regulates AMP kinase/mTOR-independent cell growth and proliferation via the phosphorylation of Yap.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.

Abstract

The liver kinase B1 (LKB1) tumor suppressor inhibits cell growth through its regulation of cellular metabolism and apical-basal polarity. The best understood mechanism whereby LKB1 limits cell growth is through activation of the AMP-activated-protein-kinase/mammalian-target-of-rapamycin (AMPK/mTOR) pathway to control metabolism. As LKB1 is also required for polarized epithelial cells to resist hyperplasia, it is anticipated to function through additional mechanisms. Recently, Yes-associated protein (Yap) has emerged as a transcriptional co-activator that modulates tissue homeostasis in response to cell-cell contact. Thus this study examined a possible connection between Yap and LKB1. Restoration of LKB1 expression in HeLa cells, which lack this tumor suppressor, or short-hairpin RNA knockdown of LKB1 in NTERT immortalized keratinocytes, demonstrated that LKB1 promotes Yap phosphorylation, nuclear exclusion and proteasomal degradation. The ability of phosphorylation-defective Yap mutants to rescue LKB1 phenotypes, such as reduced cell proliferation and cell size, suggest that Yap inhibition contributes to LKB1 tumor suppressor function(s). However, failure of Lats1/2 knockdown to suppress LKB1-mediated Yap regulation suggested that LKB1 signals to Yap via a non-canonical pathway. Additionally, LKB1 inhibited Yap independently of either AMPK or mTOR activation. These findings reveal a novel mechanism whereby LKB1 may restrict cancer cell growth via the inhibition of Yap.

PMID:
23027127
PMCID:
PMC3977597
DOI:
10.1038/onc.2012.431
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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