The Hippo-YAP pathway is a central regulator of cell contact inhibition, proliferation and death. There are conflicting reports regarding the role of Angiomotin (Amot) in regulating this pathway. While some studies suggest a YAP-inhibitory function other studies indicate Amot is required for YAP activity. Here, we describe an Amot-dependent complex comprised of Amot, YAP and Merlin. The phosphorylation of Amot at Serine 176 shifts localization of this complex to the plasma membrane, where it associates with the tight-junction proteins Pals1/PATJ and E-cadherin. Conversely, hypophosphorylated Amot shifts localization of the complex to the nucleus, where it facilitates the association of YAP and TEAD, induces transcriptional activation of YAP target genes and promotes YAP-dependent cell proliferation. We propose that phosphorylation of AmotS176 is a critical post-translational modification that suppresses YAP's ability to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis by altering the subcellular localization of an essential YAP co-factor.
Keywords: Angiomotin; Hippo; YAP; cancer biology; cell biology; human; mouse.