Organ growth and tissue homeostasis rely on the proliferation and differentiation of progenitor cell populations. In the developing lung, localized Fgf10 expression maintains distal Sox9-expressing epithelial progenitors and promotes basal cell differentiation in the cartilaginous airways. Mesenchymal Fgf10 expression is induced by Wnt signaling but inhibited by Shh signaling, and epithelial Fgf10 signaling activates β-catenin signaling. The Hippo pathway is a well-conserved signaling cascade that regulates organ size and stem/progenitor cell behavior. Here, we show that Hippo signaling promotes lineage commitment of lung epithelial progenitors by curbing Fgf10 and β-catenin signaling. Our findings show that both inactivation of the Hippo pathway (nuclear Yap) or ablation of Yap result in increased β-catenin and Fgf10 signaling, suggesting a cytoplasmic role for Yap in epithelial lineage commitment. We further demonstrate redundant and non-redundant functions for the two nuclear effectors of the Hippo pathway, Yap and Taz, during lung development.
Keywords: Differentiation; Fgf10; Fgfr2; Hippo; Ilk; Integrin; Lung; Progenitor; Yap; β-Catenin.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.