Role of TAZ as Mediator of Wnt Signaling. Azzolin L et al. Wnt growth factors are fundamental regulators of cell fate, but how the Wnt signal is translated into biological responses is incompletely understood. Here, we report that TAZ, a biologically potent transcriptional coactivator, serves as a downstream element of theWnt/-catenin cascade. This function of TAZ is independent from its well-established role as mediator of Hippo signaling. In the absence of Wnt activity, the components of the -catenin destruction complex-APC, Axin, and GSK3-are also required to keep TAZ at low levels. TAZ degradation depends on phosphorylated -catenin that bridges TAZ to its ubiquitin ligase -TrCP. Upon Wnt signaling, escape of -catenin from the destruction complex impairs TAZ degradation and leads to concomitant accumulation of -catenin and TAZ. At the genome-wide level, a substantial portion of Wnt transcriptional responses is mediated by TAZ. TAZ activation isa general feature of Wnt signaling and is functionally relevant to mediate Wnt biological effects.
Role of YAP/TAZ in mechanotransduction. Dupont S et al. Cells perceive their microenvironment not only through soluble signals but also through physical and mechanical cues, such as extracellular matrix (ECM) stiffness or confined adhesiveness. By mechanotransduction systems, cells translate these stimuli into biochemical signals controlling multiple aspects of cell behaviour, including growth, differentiation and cancer malignant progression, but how rigidity mechanosensing is ultimately linked to activity of nuclear transcription factors remains poorly understood. Here we report the identification of the Yorkie-homologues YAP (Yes-associated protein) and TAZ (transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif, also known as WWTR1) as nuclear relays of mechanical signals exerted by ECM rigidity and cell shape. This regulation requires Rho GTPase activity and tension of the actomyosin cytoskeleton, but is independent of the Hippo/LATS cascade. Crucially, YAP/TAZ are functionally required for differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells induced by ECM stiffness and for survival of endothelial cells regulated by cell geometry; conversely, expression of activated YAP overrules physical constraints in dictating cell behaviour. These findings identify YAP/TAZ as sensors and mediators of mechanical cues instructed by the cellular microenvironment.
This gene encodes a protein that is expressed at high levels in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Mutations in this gene have been associated with a number of clinical disorders including Barth syndrome, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), hypertrophic DCM, endocardial fibroelastosis, and left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC). Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been described. A long form and a short form of each of these isoforms is produced; the short form lacks a hydrophobic leader sequence and may exist as a cytoplasmic protein rather than being membrane-bound. Other alternatively spliced transcripts have been described but the full-length nature of all these transcripts is not known. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Mutation name: None
type: naturally occurring
Comment: A novel X-linked gene, G4.5. is responsible for Barth syndrome. Bione S et al. Barth syndrome is a severe inherited disorder, often fatal in childhood, characterized by cardiac and skeletal myopathy, short stature and neutropenia. The disease has been mapped to a very gene-rich region in distal portion of Xq28. We now report the identification of unique mutations in one of the genes in this region, termed G4.5, expressed at high level in cardiac and skeletal muscle. Different mRNAs can be produced by alternative splicing of the primary G4.5 transcript, encoding novel proteins that differ at the N terminus and in the central region. The mutations introduce stop codons in the open reading frame interrupting translation of most of the putative proteins (which we term 'tafazzins'). Our results suggest that G4.5 is the genetic locus responsible for the Barth syndrome.