Abstract

 

As highly conserved signaling cascades of multicellular organisms, Wnt and Hippo pathways control a wide range of cellular activities, including cell adhesion, fate determination, cell cycle, motility, polarity, and metabolism. Dysregulation of those pathways are implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. Similarly to -catenin in the Wnt pathway, the YAP transcription co-activator is a major player in Hippo. Although the intracellular dynamics of YAP are well-known to largely depend on phosphorylation by LATS and AMPK kinases, the molecular effector of YAP cytosolic translocation remains unidentified. Recently, we reported that the Dishevelled (DVL), a key scaffolding protein between canonical and non-canonical Wnt pathway, is responsible for nuclear export of phosphorylated YAP. The DVL is also required for YAP intracellular trafficking induced by E-cadherin, -catenin, or metabolic stress. Note that the p53/LATS2 and LKB1/AMPK tumor suppressor axes, commonly inactivated in human cancer, govern the reciprocal inhibition between DVL and YAP. Conversely, loss of the tumor suppressor allows co-activation of YAP and Wnt independent of epithelial polarity or contact inhibition in human cancer. These observations provide novel mechanistic insight into (1) a tight molecular connection merging the Wnt and Hippo pathways, and (2) the importance of tumor suppressor contexts with respect to controlled proliferation and epithelial polarity regulated by cell adhesion.