LATS1/2 control TGFB-directed epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in the murine dorsal cranial neuroepithelium through YAP regulation
pubmed: wnt1 2023-01-28
Development. 2022 Sep 15;149(18):dev200860. doi: 10.1242/dev.200860. Epub 2022 Sep 20.
Hippo signaling, an evolutionarily conserved kinase cascade involved in organ size control, plays key roles in various tissue developmental processes, but its role in craniofacial development remains poorly understood. Using the transgenic Wnt1-Cre2 driver, we inactivated the Hippo signaling components Lats1 and Lats2 in the cranial neuroepithelium of mouse embryos and found that the double conditional knockout (DCKO) of Lats1/2 resulted in neural tube and craniofacial defects. Lats1/2 DCKO mutant embryos had microcephaly with delayed and defective neural tube closure. Furthermore, neuroepithelial cell shape and architecture were disrupted within the cranial neural tube in Lats1/2 DCKO mutants. RNA sequencing of embryonic neural tubes revealed increased TGFB signaling in Lats1/2 DCKO mutants. Moreover, markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) were upregulated in the cranial neural tube. Inactivation of Hippo signaling downstream effectors, Yap and Taz, suppressed neuroepithelial defects, aberrant EMT and TGFB upregulation in Lats1/2 DCKO embryos, indicating that LATS1/2 function via YAP and TAZ. Our findings reveal important roles for Hippo signaling in modulating TGFB signaling during neural crest EMT.