eIF5A-PEAK1 Signaling Regulates YAP1/TAZ Protein Expression and Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth

Cancer Res. 2017 Apr 15;77(8):1997-2007. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-2594. Epub 2017 Apr 5.


In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), mutant KRAS stimulates the translation initiation factor eIF5A and upregulates the focal adhesion kinase PEAK1, which transmits integrin and growth factor signals mediated by the tumor microenvironment. Although eIF5A-PEAK1 signaling contributes to multiple aggressive cancer cell phenotypes, the downstream signaling processes that mediate these responses are uncharacterized. Through proteomics and informatic analyses of PEAK1-depleted PDAC cells, we defined protein translation, cytoskeleton organization, and cell-cycle regulatory pathways as major pathways controlled by PEAK1. Biochemical and functional studies revealed that the transcription factors YAP1 and TAZ are key targets of eIF5A-PEAK1 signaling. YAP1/TAZ coimmunoprecipitated with PEAK1. Interfering with eIF5A-PEAK1 signaling in PDAC cells inhibited YAP/TAZ protein expression, decreasing expression of stem cell-associated transcription factors (STF) including Oct4, Nanog, c-Myc, and TEAD, thereby decreasing three-dimensional (3D) tumor sphere growth. Conversely, amplified eIF5A-PEAK1 signaling increased YAP1/TAZ expression, increasing expression of STF and enhancing 3D tumor sphere growth. Informatic interrogation of mRNA sequence databases revealed upregulation of the eIF5A-PEAK1-YAP1-TEAD signaling module in PDAC patients. Taken together, our findings indicate that eIF5A-PEAK1-YAP signaling contributes to PDAC development by regulating an STF program associated with increased tumorigenicity. Cancer Res; 77(8); 1997-2007. ©2017 AACR.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / biosynthesis
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / metabolism*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / pathology
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / biosynthesis
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3 / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / biosynthesis
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / genetics
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / biosynthesis
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Octamer Transcription Factor-3
  • POU5F1 protein, human
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • WWTR1 protein, human
  • YAP1 protein, human
  • eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A
  • PEAK1 protein, human
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases