The Hippo pathway is dysregulated in many different cancers, but point mutations in the pathway are rare. Transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) and Yes-associated protein (YAP) fusion proteins have emerged in almost all major cancer types and represent the most common genetic mechanism by which the two transcriptional co-activators are activated. Given that the N termini of TAZ or YAP are fused to the C terminus of another transcriptional regulator, the resultant fusion proteins hyperactivate a TEAD transcription factor-based transcriptome. Recent advances show that the C-terminal fusion partners confer oncogenic properties to TAZ/YAP fusion proteins by recruiting epigenetic modifiers that promote a hybrid TEAD-based transcriptome. Elucidating these cooperating epigenetic complexes represents a strategy to identify new therapeutic approaches for a pathway that has been recalcitrant to medical therapy.
Keywords: TAZ; TEAD transcription factors; YAP; chromatin remodeling; epigenetics; fusion proteins.
Published by Elsevier Inc.