Acetylation of VGLL4 Regulates Hippo-YAP Signaling and Postnatal Cardiac Growth

Dev Cell. 2016 Nov 21;39(4):466-479. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.09.005. Epub 2016 Oct 6.


Binding of the transcriptional co-activator YAP with the transcription factor TEAD stimulates growth of the heart and other organs. YAP overexpression potently stimulates fetal cardiomyocyte (CM) proliferation, but YAP's mitogenic potency declines postnatally. While investigating factors that limit YAP's postnatal mitogenic activity, we found that the CM-enriched TEAD1 binding protein VGLL4 inhibits CM proliferation by inhibiting TEAD1-YAP interaction and by targeting TEAD1 for degradation. Importantly, VGLL4 acetylation at lysine 225 negatively regulated its binding to TEAD1. This developmentally regulated acetylation event critically governs postnatal heart growth, since overexpression of an acetylation-refractory VGLL4 mutant enhanced TEAD1 degradation, limited neonatal CM proliferation, and caused CM necrosis. Our study defines an acetylation-mediated, VGLL4-dependent switch that regulates TEAD stability and YAP-TEAD activity. These insights may improve targeted modulation of TEAD-YAP activity in applications from cardiac regeneration to cancer.

Keywords: Hippo-YAP pathway; TEAD1; VGLL4; acetylation; cardiac; cardiomyocyte; degradation; necrosis; proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Aging / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Heart / growth & development*
  • Heart Failure / metabolism
  • Heart Failure / pathology
  • Hippo Signaling Pathway
  • Humans
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Domains
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Stability
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Signal Transduction*
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • Tead1 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • VGLL4 protein, mouse
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins
  • Yap1 protein, mouse
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases