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Paper Chase

Hippo signaling regulates microprocessor and links cell-density-dependent miRNA biogenesis to cancer.

Cell. Feb 27, 2014;156(5):893-906.
Mori M, Triboulet R, Mohseni M, Schlegelmilch K, Shrestha K, Camargo FD, Gregory RI.

Stem Cell Program, Boston Children's Hospital, MA 02115, USA; Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology and Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:


Global downregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is commonly observed in human cancers and can have a causative role in tumorigenesis. The mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon remain poorly understood. Here, we show that YAP, the downstream target of the tumor-suppressive Hippo-signaling pathway regulates miRNA biogenesis in a cell-density-dependent manner. At low cell density, nuclear YAP binds and sequesters p72 (DDX17), a regulatory component of the miRNA-processing machinery. At high cell density, Hippo-mediated cytoplasmic retention of YAP facilitates p72 association with Microprocessor and binding to a specific sequence motif in pri-miRNAs. Inactivation of the Hippo pathway or expression of constitutively active YAP causes widespread miRNA suppression in cells and tumors and a corresponding posttranscriptional induction of MYC expression. Thus, the Hippo pathway links contact-inhibition regulation to miRNA biogenesis and may be responsible for the widespread miRNA repression observed in cancer.