Research ArticleCell Biology

Hippo Pathway–Dependent and –Independent Roles of RASSF6

Sci. Signal.  29 Sep 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 90, pp. ra59
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2000300

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Apoptosis, With or Without Hippo

The Hippo signaling pathway, named after the kinase Hippo, limits organ size without affecting patterning, and the components of this pathway are conserved from Drosophila to mammals. Drosophila RASSF (Ras association domain family) not only inhibits Hippo signaling and thus counters Hippo-mediated apoptosis, but also exhibits tumor suppressor function. Of the 10 mammalian RASSF isoforms, the best-characterized isoform, RASSF1A, activates the mammalian homologs of Hippo (the MST kinases), which contrasts with the role of dRASSF. Ikeda et al. show that RASSF6 represents another twist in the RASSF protein family. RASSF6 and MST2 are mutual inhibitors: Activation of MST2 disrupted binding of RASSF6 to MST2, enabling MST2 to induce apoptosis through a process dependent on the Hippo pathway and allowing RASSF6 to mediate apoptosis through a Hippo-independent pathway. These results suggest that mammalian RASSF isoforms may have divergent functions and may link the Hippo pathway to other signal transduction cascades.

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