Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Ubiquitin E3 ligase dSmurf is essential for Wts protein turnover and Hippo signaling.

PMID 25450375


The Hippo pathway has been implicated in controlling organ size and tumorigenesis and the underlying molecular mechanisms have attracted intensive attentions. In this work, we identified dSmurf as a new regulator of Wts, a core component of the Hippo pathway, in Drosophila. Our data revealed that Wts and dSmurf colocalize to cytoplasm and physically form an immunoprecipitated complex in S2 cells. Sufficient knock-down of dSmurf increases the protein abundance of Wts and thus increases phosphorylation level at S168 of Yki, the key downstream target of Wts in the Hippo pathway. Genetic epistasis assays showed that halving dosage of dSmurf dominantly enhances the phenotype caused by overexpression of Wts and restrains Yki activity in Drosophila eyes. Our works defines a novel role of dSmurf in animal development through modulating Wts turnover and thereby Hippo signal transduction, implying that targeting dSmurf may be a promising therapeutic strategy to manipulate the Hippo pathway in pathological conditions.