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The Hippo pathway mediates Semaphorin signaling


Semaphorins were originally identified as axonal guidance molecules, but they also control processes such as vascular development and tumorigenesis. The downstream signaling cascades of Semaphorins in these biological processes remain unclear. Here, we show that the class 3 Semaphorins (SEMA3s) activate the Hippo pathway to attenuate tissue growth, angiogenesis, and tumorigenesis. SEMA3B restoration in lung cancer cells with SEMA3B loss of heterozygosity suppresses cancer cell growth via activating the core Hippo kinases LATS1/2 (large tumor suppressor kinase 1/2). Furthermore, SEMA3 also acts through LATS1/2 to inhibit angiogenesis. We identified p190RhoGAPs as essential partners of the SEMA3A receptor PlexinA in Hippo regulation. Upon SEMA3 treatment, PlexinA interacts with the pseudo-guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) domain of p190RhoGAP and simultaneously recruits RND GTPases to activate p190RhoGAP, which then stimulates LATS1/2. Disease-associated etiological factors, such as genetic lesions and oscillatory shear, diminish Hippo pathway regulation by SEMA3. Our study thus discovers a critical role of Hippo signaling in mediating SEMA3 physiological function.

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