Hippo Pathway Inhibits Wnt Signaling to Restrain Cardiomyocyte Proliferation and Heart Size

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Science  22 Apr 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6028, pp. 458-461
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199010

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Genetic regulation of mammalian heart size is poorly understood. Hippo signaling represents an organ-size control pathway in Drosophila, where it also inhibits cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis in imaginal discs. To determine whether Hippo signaling controls mammalian heart size, we inactivated Hippo pathway components in the developing mouse heart. Hippo-deficient embryos had overgrown hearts with elevated cardiomyocyte proliferation. Gene expression profiling and chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that Hippo signaling negatively regulates a subset of Wnt target genes. Genetic interaction studies indicated that β-catenin heterozygosity suppressed the Hippo cardiomyocyte overgrowth phenotype. Furthermore, the Hippo effector Yap interacts with β-catenin on Sox2 and Snai2 genes. These data uncover a nuclear interaction between Hippo and Wnt signaling that restricts cardiomyocyte proliferation and controls heart size.

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