Polyomavirus small T antigen interacts with yes-associated protein to regulate cell survival and differentiation.

J Virol

Murine polyomavirus small t antigen (PyST) regulates cell cycle, cell survival, apoptosis, and differentiation and cooperates with middle T antigen (MT) to transform primary cells in vitro and in vivo. Like all polyomavirus T antigens, PyST functions largely via its interactions with host cell proteins. Here, we show that PyST binds both Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) and YAP2, integral parts of the Hippo signaling pathway, which is a subject of increasing interest in human cancer. The transcription factor TEAD, which is a known target of YAP, is also found in PyST complexes. PyST enhanced YAP association with protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A), leading to decreased YAP phosphorylation. PyST increased YAP levels by decreasing its degradation. This effect was mediated by a reduction in YAP association with β-transducin repeat protein (βTRCP), which is known to regulate YAP turnover in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Genetic analysis has identified PyST mutants defective in YAP binding. These mutants demonstrated that YAP binding is important for PyST to block myoblast differentiation and to synergize with the phosphodiesterase inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX) to promote cell death in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes placed under differentiation conditions. In addition to YAP binding, both of these phenotypes require PyST binding to PP2A. Importance: The Hippo/YAP pathway is a highly conserved cascade important for tissue development and homeostasis. Defects in this pathway are increasingly being associated with cancer. Polyomavirus small t antigen is a viral oncogene that cooperates with middle T antigen in transformation. On its own, small t antigen controls cell survival and differentiation. By binding YAP, small t antigen brings it together with protein phosphatase 2A. This work shows how this association of small t antigen with YAP is important for its effects on cell phenotype. It also suggests that PyST can be used to characterize cellular processes that are regulated by YAP.

Year of Publication
J Virol
Date Published
2014 Oct
PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
Grant list
CA30002 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R37 CA030002 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
CA34722 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
CA50661 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA034722 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA030002 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
P01 CA050661 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States