SMG6 regulates DNA damage and cell survival in Hippo pathway kinase LATS2-inactivated malignant mesothelioma

Cell Death Discovery 2022 November 5 [Link]

Koya Suzuki, Masaki Tange, Ryota Yamagishi, Hiroyuki Hanada, Satomi Mukai, Tatsuhiro Sato, Takeshi Tanaka, Tomohiro Akashi, Kenji Kadomatsu, Tohru Maeda, Takashi Miida, Ichiro Takeuchi, Hiroshi Murakami, Yoshitaka Sekido, Yuko Murakami-Tonami


Many genes responsible for Malignant mesothelioma (MM) have been identified as tumor suppressor genes and it is difficult to target these genes directly at a molecular level. We searched for the gene which showed synthetic lethal phenotype with LATS2, one of the MM causative genes and one of the kinases in the Hippo pathway. Here we showed that knockdown of SMG6 results in synthetic lethality in LATS2-inactivated cells. We found that this synthetic lethality required the nuclear translocation of YAP1 and TAZ. Both are downstream factors of the Hippo pathway. We also demonstrated that this synthetic lethality did not require SMG6 in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) but in regulating telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) activity. In addition, the RNA-dependent DNA polymerase (RdDP) activity of TERT was required for this synthetic lethal phenotype. We confirmed the inhibitory effects of LATS2 and SMG6 on cell proliferation in vivo. The result suggests an interaction between the Hippo and TERT signaling pathways. We also propose that SMG6 and TERT are novel molecular target candidates for LATS2-inactivated cancers such as MM.