Research Papers:

Targeting loss of the Hippo signaling pathway in NF2-deficient papillary kidney cancers

Carole Sourbier _, Pei-Jyun Liao, Christopher J. Ricketts, Darmood Wei, Youfeng Yang, Sarah M. Baranes, Benjamin K. Gibbs, Lernik Ohanjanian, L.Spencer Krane, Bradley T. Scroggins, J. Keith Killian, Ming-Hui Wei, Toshiki Kijima, Paul S. Meltzer, Deborah E. Citrin, Len Neckers, Cathy D. Vocke and W. Marston Linehan

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:10723-10733. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.24112

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Carole Sourbier1,*, Pei-Jyun Liao1,*, Christopher J. Ricketts1, Darmood Wei1, Youfeng Yang1, Sarah M. Baranes1, Benjamin K. Gibbs1, Lernik Ohanjanian1, L. Spencer Krane1, Bradley T. Scroggins2, J. Keith Killian3, Ming-Hui Wei1, Toshiki Kijima1, Paul S. Meltzer3, Deborah E. Citrin2, Len Neckers1, Cathy D. Vocke1 and W. Marston Linehan1

1Urologic Oncology Branch, CCR, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

2Radiation Oncology Branch, CCR, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

3Genetics Branch, CCR, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

W. Marston Linehan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: NF2; PRCC; hippo pathway; yes; dasatinib

Received: September 07, 2017     Accepted: November 20, 2017     Published: January 10, 2018


Papillary renal cell carcinomas (PRCC) are a histologically and genetically heterogeneous group of tumors that represent 15–20% of all kidney neoplasms and may require diverse therapeutic approaches. Alteration of the NF2 tumor suppressor gene, encoding a key regulator of the Hippo signaling pathway, is observed in 22.5% of PRCC. The Hippo signaling pathway controls cell proliferation by regulating the transcriptional activity of Yes-Associated Protein, YAP1. Loss of NF2 results in aberrant YAP1 activation. The Src family kinase member Yes also regulates YAP1 transcriptional activity. This study investigated the importance of YAP and Yes activity in three NF2-deficient PRCC cell lines. NF2-deficency correlated with increased expression of YAP1 transcriptional targets and siRNA-based knockdown of YAP1 and Yes1 downregulated this pathway and dramatically reduced cell viability. Dasatinib and saracatinib have potent inhibitory effects on Yes and treatment with either resulted in downregulation of YAP1 transcription targets, reduced cell viability, and G0-G1 cell cycle arrest. Xenograft models for NF2-deficient PRCC also demonstrated reduced tumor growth in response to dasatinib. Thus, inhibiting Yes and the subsequent transcriptional activity of YAP1 had a substantial anti-tumor cell effect both in vitro and in vivo and may provide a viable therapeutic approach for patients with NF2-deficient PRCC.

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