Rationale: Yes-associated protein (YAP), the nuclear effector of Hippo signaling, regulates cellular growth and survival in multiple organs, including the heart, by interacting with TEA (transcriptional enhancer activator)-domain sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins. Recent studies showed that YAP stimulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and survival. However, the direct transcriptional targets through which YAP exerts its effects are poorly defined.
Objective: To identify direct YAP targets that mediate its mitogenic and antiapoptotic effects in the heart.
Methods and results: We identified direct YAP targets by combining differential gene expression analysis in YAP gain- and loss-of-function with genome-wide identification of YAP-bound loci using chromatin immunoprecipitation and high throughput sequencing. This screen identified Pik3cb, encoding p110β, a catalytic subunit of phosphoinositol-3-kinase, as a candidate YAP effector that promotes cardiomyocyte proliferation and survival. YAP and TEA-domain occupied a conserved enhancer within the first intron of Pik3cb, and this enhancer drove YAP-dependent reporter gene expression. Yap gain- and loss-of-function studies indicated that YAP is necessary and sufficient to activate the phosphoinositol-3-kinase-Akt pathway. Like Yap, Pik3cb gain-of-function stimulated cardiomyocyte proliferation, and Pik3cb knockdown dampened YAP mitogenic activity. Reciprocally, impaired heart function in Yap loss-of-function was significantly rescued by adeno-associated virus-mediated Pik3cb expression.
Conclusions: Pik3cb is a crucial direct target of YAP, through which the YAP activates phosphoinositol-3-kinase-AKT pathway and regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and survival.
Keywords: AAV; Akt; Hippo; PI3 kinase; Pik3cb; Yap; heart failure; regeneration.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.