The Hippo pathway is a central regulator of tissue development and homeostasis, and has been reported to have a role during vascular development. Here we develop a bioluminescence-based biosensor that monitors the activity of the Hippo core component LATS kinase. Using this biosensor and a library of small molecule kinase inhibitors, we perform a screen for kinases modulating LATS activity and identify VEGFR as an upstream regulator of the Hippo pathway. We find that VEGFR activation by VEGF triggers PI3K/MAPK signaling, which subsequently inhibits LATS and activates the Hippo effectors YAP and TAZ. We further show that the Hippo pathway is a critical mediator of VEGF-induced angiogenesis and tumor vasculogenic mimicry. Thus, our work offers a biosensor tool for the study of the Hippo pathway and suggests a role for Hippo signaling in regulating blood vessel formation in physiological and pathological settings.
Nature Communications – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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