TEAD4 is a master regulator of high-risk nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Sci Adv. 2023 Jan 6;9(1):eadd0960. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.add0960. Epub 2023 Jan 6.


The molecular basis underlying nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains unclear. Recent progress in transcriptional regulatory network analysis helps identify the master regulator (MR) proteins that transcriptionally define malignant tumor phenotypes. Here, we investigated transcription factor-target interactions and identified TEA domain transcription factor 4 (TEAD4) as an MR of high-risk NPC. Precisely, TEAD4 promoted NPC migration, invasion and cisplatin resistance, depending on its autopalmitoylation. Mechanistically, YTHDF2 (YTH domain family 2) recognized WTAP (Wilms tumor 1-associating protein)-mediated TEAD4 m6A methylation to facilitate its stability and led to aberrant up-regulation of TEAD4. Up-regulated TEAD4 further drove NPC progression by transcriptionally activating BZW2 (basic leucine zipper and W2 domains 2) to induce the oncogenic AKT pathway. Moreover, the transcriptional activity of TEAD4 was independent of its canonical coactivators YAP/TAZ. Clinically, TEAD4 serves as an independent predictor of unfavorable prognosis and cisplatin response in NPC. Our data revealed the crucial role of TEAD4 in driving tumor malignancy, thus, may provide therapeutic vulnerability in NPC.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cisplatin / pharmacology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / genetics
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • BZW2 protein, human
  • Cisplatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • TEA Domain Transcription Factors
  • TEAD4 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • NT5E protein, human
  • SS-A antigen