The Hippo pathway controls organ size and tissue homeostasis by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis. The LATS-mediated negative feedback loop prevents excessive activation of the effectors YAP/TAZ, maintaining homeostasis of the Hippo pathway. YAP and TAZ are hyperactivated in various cancer cells which lead to tumor growth. Aberrantly increased O-GlcNAcylation has recently emerged as a cause of hyperactivation of YAP in cancer cells. However, the mechanism, which induces hyperactivation of TAZ and blocks LATS-mediated negative feedback, remains to be elucidated in cancer cells. This study found that in breast cancer cells, abnormally increased O-GlcNAcylation hyperactivates YAP/TAZ and inhibits LATS2, a direct negative regulator of YAP/TAZ. LATS2 is one of the newly identified O-GlcNAcylated components in the MST-LATS kinase cascade. Here, we found that O-GlcNAcylation at LATS2 Thr436 interrupted its interaction with the MOB1 adaptor protein, which connects MST to LATS2, leading to activation of YAP/TAZ by suppressing LATS2 kinase activity. LATS2 is a core component in the LATS-mediated negative feedback loop. Thus, this study suggests that LATS2 O-GlcNAcylation is deeply involved in tumor growth by playing a critical role in dysregulation of the Hippo pathway in cancer cells.
Hippo pathway, LATS2, MOB1, O-GlcNAcylation, cancer