Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1)-mediated mitotic phosphorylation of the transcriptional co-repressor Vgll4 inhibits its tumor-suppressing activity

Yongji Zeng, Seth Stauffer, Jiuli Zhou, Xingcheng Chen, Yuanhong Chen, Jixin Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Hippo pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway that plays important roles in stem cell biology, tissue homeostasis, and cancer development. Vestigial-like 4 (Vgll4) functions as a transcriptional co-repressor in the Hippo-Yes-associated protein (YAP) pathway. Vgll4 inhibits cell proliferation and tumor growth by competing with YAP for binding to TEA-domain proteins (TEADs). However, the mechanisms by which Vgll4 itself is regulated are unclear. Here we identified a mechanism that regulates Vgll4's tumor-suppressing function. We found that Vgll4 is phosphorylated in vitro and in vivo by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) during antimitotic drug-induced mitotic arrest and also in normal mitosis. We further identified Ser-58, Ser-155, Thr-159, and Ser-280 as the main mitotic phosphorylation sites in Vgll4. We also noted that the nonphosphorylatable mutant Vgll4-4A (S58A/S155A/T159A/S280A) suppressed tumorigenesis in pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo to a greater extent than did wild-type Vgll4, suggesting that mitotic phosphorylation inhibits Vgll4's tumor-suppressive activity. Consistent with these observations, the Vgll4-4A mutant possessed higher-binding affinity to TEAD1 than wild-type Vgll4. Interestingly, Vgll4 and Vgll4-4A markedly suppressed YAP and β-catenin signaling activity. Together, these findings reveal a previously unrecognized mechanism for Vgll4 regulation in mitosis and its role in tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15028-15038
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume292
Issue number36
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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