Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is an important cancer stem cell survival protein (1–4). Our recent article described a novel transglutaminase 2 (TG2) signaling pathway whereby TG2 enhances cancer stem cell survival, spheroid formation, Matrigel invasion, and tumor formation in squamous cell carcinoma (5). We showed that TG2 triggers these events by activating an integrin, FAK, Src, PI3K signaling cascade that phosphorylates PDK1, causing it to dissociate from LATS1 to inhibit LATS1 activity. Inactivation of LATS1 leads to accumulation of nonphosphorylated YAP1, which then interacts with and stabilizes ΔNp63α, which drives the cancer stem cell phenotype (5). Hong and colleagues, in a letter to the editor, noted that our article did not describe regulation of TG2 by YAP1 in SCC-13 and HaCaT epidermis-derived cancer cells (5). In particular, we did not observe a change in TG2 level in squamous cell carcinoma cells expressing YAP(S127A), a constitutively active form of YAP1, or in cells treated with YAP1-siRNA. This is in contrast to their observation that YAP1 and TAZ interact with the TG2 promoter to regulate TG2 mRNA and protein level in MCF10A, HaCaT, and HCT116 cells (6). Although we have not studied the impact of YAP1 or TAZ on TG2 gene expression, we can confirm that TG2 is regulated by YAP1 and TAZ in some cell lines. For example, Fig. 1 shows a reduction in TG2 level in MCF-7 cells following treatment with YAP1 or TAZ-specific siRNA and confirms that this is associated with reduced spheroid formation. Thus, we conclude based on these findings that TG2 can be regulated by YAP1 and TAZ, but we further propose that this may depend upon the cell type and the cellular environment.
See the original Letter to the Editor, p. 4734
Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest
No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.
This work was supported by grants from the NIH (RLE - CA131074 and CA184027).