Adaptor proteins NUMB and NUMBL promote cell cycle withdrawal by targeting ERBB2 for degradation

J Clin Invest. 2017 Feb 1;127(2):569-582. doi: 10.1172/JCI91081. Epub 2017 Jan 9.


Failure of trabecular myocytes to undergo appropriate cell cycle withdrawal leads to ventricular noncompaction and heart failure. Signaling of growth factor receptor ERBB2 is critical for myocyte proliferation and trabeculation. However, the mechanisms underlying appropriate downregulation of trabecular ERBB2 signaling are little understood. Here, we have found that the endocytic adaptor proteins NUMB and NUMBL were required for downregulation of ERBB2 signaling in maturing trabeculae. Loss of NUMB and NUMBL resulted in a partial block of late endosome formation, resulting in sustained ERBB2 signaling and STAT5 activation. Unexpectedly, activated STAT5 overrode Hippo-mediated inhibition and drove YAP1 to the nucleus. Consequent aberrant cardiomyocyte proliferation resulted in ventricular noncompaction that was markedly rescued by heterozygous loss of function of either ERBB2 or YAP1. Further investigations revealed that NUMB and NUMBL interacted with small GTPase Rab7 to transition ERBB2 from early to late endosome for degradation. Our studies provide insight into mechanisms by which NUMB and NUMBL promote cardiomyocyte cell cycle withdrawal and highlight previously unsuspected connections between pathways that are important for cardiomyocyte cell cycle reentry, with relevance to ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy and regenerative medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathies / metabolism
  • Cardiomyopathies / pathology
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Endosomes / genetics
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / pathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Proteolysis*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rab7 GTP-Binding Proteins


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • NUMBL protein, human
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Numb protein, human
  • Numb protein, mouse
  • Numbl protein, mouse
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins
  • YAP1 protein, human
  • Yap1 protein, mouse
  • rab7 GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rab7 GTP-binding proteins, human
  • rab7 GTP-binding proteins, mouse
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Erbb2 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins