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J Cell Biol. 2019 Oct 7;218(10):3472-3488. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201902067. Epub 2019 Sep 3.

YAP and TAZ regulate cell volume.

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Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Pharmacology and Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
Department of Biology, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.
Physical Sciences in Oncology Center, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Contributed equally


How mammalian cells regulate their physical size is currently poorly understood, in part due to the difficulty in accurately quantifying cell volume in a high-throughput manner. Here, using the fluorescence exclusion method, we demonstrate that the mechanosensitive transcriptional regulators YAP (Yes-associated protein) and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif) are regulators of single-cell volume. The role of YAP/TAZ in volume regulation must go beyond its influence on total cell cycle duration or cell shape to explain the observed changes in volume. Moreover, for our experimental conditions, volume regulation by YAP/TAZ is independent of mTOR. Instead, we find that YAP/TAZ directly impacts the cell division volume, and YAP is involved in regulating intracellular cytoplasmic pressure. Based on the idea that YAP/TAZ is a mechanosensor, we find that inhibiting myosin assembly and cell tension slows cell cycle progression from G1 to S. These results suggest that YAP/TAZ may be modulating cell volume in combination with cytoskeletal tension during cell cycle progression.


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