Glucocorticoid receptor signalling activates YAP in breast cancer

Nat Commun. 2017 Jan 19;8:14073. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14073.

Abstract

The Hippo pathway is an oncosuppressor signalling cascade that plays a major role in the control of cell growth, tissue homoeostasis and organ size. Dysregulation of the Hippo pathway leads to aberrant activation of the transcription co-activator YAP (Yes-associated protein) that contributes to tumorigenesis in several tissues. Here we identify glucocorticoids (GCs) as hormonal activators of YAP. Stimulation of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) leads to increase of YAP protein levels, nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activity in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, we find that GCs increase expression and deposition of fibronectin leading to the focal adhesion-Src pathway stimulation, cytoskeleton-dependent YAP activation and expansion of chemoresistant cancer stem cells. GR activation correlates with YAP activity in human breast cancer and predicts bad prognosis in the basal-like subtype. Our results unveil a novel mechanism of YAP activation in cancer and open the possibility to target GR to prevent cancer stem cells self-renewal and chemoresistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neoplasms, Experimental
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription Factors

Substances

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP1 (Yes-associated) protein, human