We have previously demonstrated that the transcription co-factor yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) promotes vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) de-differentiation. Yet, the role and underlying mechanisms of YAP1 in neointima formation in vivo remain unclear. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of VSMC-expressed YAP1 in vascular injury-induced VSMC proliferation and delineate the mechanisms underlying its action. Experiments employing gain- or loss-of-function of YAP1 demonstrated that YAP1 promotes human VSMC proliferation. Mechanistically, we identified platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRB) as a novel YAP1 target gene that confers the YAP1-dependent hyper-proliferative effects in VSMCs. Furthermore, we identified TEA domain transcription factor 1 (TEAD1) as a key transcription factor that mediates YAP1-dependent PDGFRβ expression. ChIP assays demonstrated that TEAD1 is enriched at a PDGFRB gene enhancer. Luciferase reporter assays further demonstrated that YAP1 and TEAD1 co-operatively activate the PDGFRB enhancer. Consistent with these observations, we found that YAP1 expression is upregulated after arterial injury and correlates with PDGFRβ expression and VSMC proliferation in vivo. Using a novel inducible SM-specific Yap1 knockout mouse model, we found that the specific deletion of Yap1 in adult VSMCs is sufficient to attenuate arterial injury-induced neointima formation, largely due to inhibited PDGFRβ expression and VSMC proliferation. Our study unravels a novel mechanism by which YAP1/TEAD1 promote VSMC proliferation via transcriptional induction of PDGFRβ, thereby enhancing PDGF-BB downstream signaling and promoting neointima formation.
- Gene expression and regulation
- Genetically altered and transgenic models
- Smooth muscle proliferation and differentiation
- Vascular biology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine