Nerfin-1 represses transcriptional output of hippo signaling in cell competition

Pengfei Guo, Chang Hyun Lee, Huiyan Lei, Yonggang Zheng, Katiuska Daniela Pulgar Prieto, Duojia Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The Hippo tumor suppressor pathway regulates tissue growth in Drosophila by restricting the activity of the transcriptional coactivator Yorkie (Yki), which normally complexes with the TEF/TEAD family DNA-binding transcription factor Scalloped (Sd) to drive the expression of growth-promoting genes. Given its pivotal role as a central hub in mediating the transcriptional output of Hippo signaling, there is great interest in understanding the molecular regulation of the Sd-Yki complex. In this study, we identify Nerfin-1 as a transcriptional repressor that antagonizes the activity of the Sd-Yki complex by binding to the TEA DNA-binding domain of Sd. Consistent with its biochemical function, ectopic expression of Nerfin-1 results in tissue undergrowth in an Sd- dependent manner. Conversely, loss of Nerfin-1 enhances the ability of winner cells to eliminate loser cells in multiple scenarios of cell competition. We further show that INSM1, the mammalian ortholog of Nerfin-1, plays a conserved role in repressing the activity of the TEAD-YAP complex. These findings reveal a novel regulatory mode converging on the transcriptional output of the Hippo pathway that may be exploited for modulating the YAP oncoprotein in cancer and regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere38843
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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