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Regulation of YAP by mTOR and autophagy reveals a therapeutic target of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Abstract : The Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) is a genetic disease characterized by growth of hamartomas in different organs including brain, kidney, lung, skin, and heart. These lesions are sources of morbidity and mortality in patients with TSC, as they may cause intractable epilepsy, autism, developmental delay, renal and pulmonary failure. Known causes of TSC are loss of function mutations in TSC1 and TSC2 genes. The majority of TSC lesions contain multiple cell types of the mesenchymal lineage, as in the case of angiomyolipomas, lymphangioleiomyomatosis and angiofibromas. A unique cell type named perivascular epithelioid cell (PEC) is constantly present in mesenchymal TSC lesions, such as angiomyolipomas and lymphangioleiomyomatosis, basing on morphological features and the common expression of melanocytic and myogenic markers. Therefore, these lesions are officially classified, along with other tumors, as PEComas. Their cell of origin and the molecular mechanisms underlying their pathogenesis remain poorly defined. Here we generated a novel mosaic Tsc1 knockout mouse model which develop renal mesenchymal lesions recapitulating human Perivascular Epithelioid Cell tumor (PEComa) observed in TSC patients. We identified YAP, the transcriptional coactivator of Hippo pathway, was upregulated in both renal lesions of TSC mouse model and human angiomyolipoma samples in a mTOR-dependent manner. Inhibition of YAP with genetic or pharmacological tools greatly attenuates the proliferation and survival of Tsc1 null cells in vivo and in vitro. Futhermore, we found YAP accumulation in TSC1/TSC2 deficient cells is due to impaired degradation of the protein through the autophagosome/lysosome system. Thus the regulation of YAP by mTOR and autophagy is a novel mechanism of growth control, matching YAP activity with nutrient availability under growth permissive conditions. It may serve as a potential therapeutical target for TSC and other diseases with dysregulated mTOR activity.
Keywords : TSC PEComa YAP MTOR Autophagy
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Ning Liang. Regulation of YAP by mTOR and autophagy reveals a therapeutic target of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Cellular Biology. Université René Descartes - Paris V, 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PA05T055⟩. ⟨tel-01126889⟩

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