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OTUB2 Promotes Cancer Metastasis via Hippo-Independent Activation of YAP and TAZ

Zhang, Zhengkui, Du, Jinjin, Wang, Shuai, Shao, Li, Jin, Ke, Li, Fang, Wei, Bajin, Ding, Wei, Fu, Peifen, van Dam, Hans, Wang, Aijun, Jin, Jin, Ding, Chen, Yang, Bing, Zheng, Min, Feng, Xin-Hua, Guan, Kun-Liang, Zhang, Long
Molecular cell 2019 v.73 no.1 pp. 7-21.e7
carcinogenesis, gain-of-function mutation, humans, lysine, metastasis, neoplasms, sumoylation, transcription factors
The transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ play important roles in development, physiology, and tumorigenesis and are negatively controlled by the Hippo pathway. It is yet unknown why the YAP/ TAZ proteins are frequently activated in human malignancies in which the Hippo pathway is still active. Here, by a gain-of-function cancer metastasis screen, we discovered OTUB2 as a cancer stemness and metastasis-promoting factor that deubiquitinates and activates YAP/TAZ. We found OTUB2 to be poly-SUMOylated on lysine 233, and this SUMOylation enables it to bind YAP/TAZ. We also identified a yet-unknown SUMO-interacting motif (SIM) in YAP and TAZ required for their association with SUMOylated OTUB2. Importantly, EGF and oncogenic KRAS induce OTUB2 poly-SUMOylation and thereby activate YAP/TAZ. Our results establish OTUB2 as an essential modulator of YAP/TAZ and also reveal a novel mechanism via which YAP/TAZ activity is induced by oncogenic KRAS.