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YAP/TAZ Inhibition Induces Metabolic and Signaling Rewiring Resulting in Targetable Vulnerabilities in NF2-Deficient Tumor Cells.

Developmental cell (2019-05-08)
Shannon M White, Maria Laura Avantaggiati, Ivan Nemazanyy, Cristina Di Poto, Yang Yang, Mario Pende, Geoffrey T Gibney, Habtom W Ressom, Jeffery Field, Michael B Atkins, Chunling Yi
ABSTRACT

Merlin/NF2 is a bona fide tumor suppressor whose mutations underlie inherited tumor syndrome neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), as well as various sporadic cancers including kidney cancer. Multiple Merlin/NF2 effector pathways including the Hippo-YAP/TAZ pathway have been identified. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning the growth and survival of NF2-mutant tumors remain poorly understood. Using an inducible orthotopic kidney tumor model, we demonstrate that YAP/TAZ silencing is sufficient to induce regression of pre-established NF2-deficient tumors. Mechanistically, YAP/TAZ depletion diminishes glycolysis-dependent growth and increases mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species (ROS) buildup, resulting in oxidative-stress-induced cell death when challenged by nutrient stress. Furthermore, we identify lysosome-mediated cAMP-PKA/EPAC-dependent activation of RAF-MEK-ERK signaling as a resistance mechanism to YAP/TAZ inhibition. Finally, unbiased analysis of TCGA primary kidney tumor transcriptomes confirms a positive correlation of a YAP/TAZ signature with glycolysis and inverse correlations with oxidative phosphorylation and lysosomal gene expression, supporting the clinical relevance of our findings.

MATERIALS
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