Abstract P279: YAP, a Transcriptional Cofactor of the Hippo Pathway, Regulates Cardiomyocyte Growth, Survival, and Proliferation
Mst1 and Lats2, components of the mammalian Hippo pathway, stimulate apoptosis and inhibit hypertrophy of cardiomyocytes (CMs), thereby mediating reperfusion injury and heart failure. YAP, a transcription factor co-factor, is negatively regulated by the Hippo pathway, and controls cell survival, proliferation and tissue regeneration. The role of YAP in regulating growth and death of CMs is poorly understood. YAP overexpression in CMs induced cardiac hypertrophy, as indicated by increases in cell size (+1.2 fold, p<0.01), protein content (+1.1 fold, p<0.01) and ANF (luciferase reporter activity +1.7 fold, mRNA +2.2 fold, and staining +2.7 fold, p<0.01). Lats2 phosphorylates YAP at Serine 127, which induces cytoplasmic translocation of YAP, whereas YAP(S127A) is localized constitutively in the nucleus. Expression of YAP(S127A) enhanced hypertrophy in cultured CMs compared to that of wild type YAP (+1.87 fold ANF staining, p<0.05), suggesting that the Mst1/Hippo pathway negatively regulates cardiac hypertrophy through YAP. YAP inhibited cell death induced by H2O2 treatment, as evaluated with TUNEL staining (-65%, p<0.05) and CellTiter Blue assays (+34.9%, p<0.01), indicating that YAP plays an essential role in mediating CM survival. Interestingly, YAP also significantly increased Ki67 positive cells in cultured CMs compared to LacZ (+2.65 fold, p<0.05). We used a mouse model of chronic myocardial infarction (MI) to evaluate the function of YAP in the heart in vivo. Although YAP is diffusely localized both in the nucleus and cytosol in CMs in control hearts, CMs in the border zone of MI exhibited nuclear localization of YAP whereas YAP was excluded from the nucleus in CMs in the remodeling area four days after MI (+6.52 fold and +1.28 fold). Some of the YAP positive CMs in the border zone exhibited positive co-staining with Ki67, suggesting that YAP potentially induces CM proliferation. A significant increase in nuclear YAP and Ki67 positive CMs (+2.95 fold, p<0.01 and +2.18 fold, p<0.05) was also observed in neonatal rat hearts whose apex was surgically resected three days before euthanasia. These results suggest that YAP plays an important role in mediating not only hypertrophy and survival, but also proliferation of CMs in response to myocardial injury.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.