Research ArticleCell Biology

Cardiac hypertrophy induced by active Raf depends on Yorkie-mediated transcription

Sci. Signal.  03 Feb 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 362, pp. ra13
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005719

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Abstract

Organ hypertrophy can result from enlargement of individual cells or from cell proliferation or both. Activating mutations in the serine-threonine kinase Raf cause cardiac hypertrophy and contribute to Noonan syndrome in humans. Cardiac-specific expression of activated Raf also causes hypertrophy in Drosophila melanogaster. We found that Yorkie (Yki), a transcriptional coactivator in the Hippo pathway that regulates organ size, is required for Raf-induced cardiac hypertrophy in flies. Although aberrant activation of Yki orthologs stimulates cardiac hyperplasia in mice, cardiac-specific expression of an activated mutant form of Yki in fruit flies caused cardiac hypertrophy without hyperplasia. Knockdown of Yki caused cardiac dilation without loss of cardiomyocytes and prevented Raf-induced cardiac hypertrophy. In flies, Yki-induced cardiac hypertrophy required the TEA domain–containing transcription factor Scalloped, and, in mammalian cells, expression of mouse RafL613V, an activated form of Raf with a Noonan syndrome mutation, increased Yki-induced Scalloped activity. Furthermore, overexpression of Tgi (a Tondu domain–containing Scalloped-binding corepressor) in the fly heart abrogated Yki- or Raf-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Thus, crosstalk between Raf and Yki occurs in the heart and can influence Raf-mediated cardiac hypertrophy.

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