Autopalmitoylation of TEAD proteins regulates transcriptional output of the Hippo pathway

Puiyee Chan, Xiao Han, Baohui Zheng, Michael Deran, Jianzhong Yu, Gopala K. Jarugumilli, Hua Deng, Duojia Pan, Xuelian Luo, Xu Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


TEA domain (TEAD) transcription factors bind to the coactivators YAP and TAZ and regulate the transcriptional output of the Hippo pathway, playing critical roles in organ size control and tumorigenesis. Protein S-palmitoylation attaches a fatty acid, palmitate, to cysteine residues and regulates protein trafficking, membrane localization and signaling activities. Using activity-based chemical probes, we discovered that human TEADs possess intrinsic palmitoylating enzyme-like activities and undergo autopalmitoylation at evolutionarily conserved cysteine residues under physiological conditions. We determined the crystal structures of lipid-bound TEADs and found that the lipid chain of palmitate inserts into a conserved deep hydrophobic pocket. Strikingly, palmitoylation did not alter TEAD's localization, but it was required for TEAD's binding to YAP and TAZ and was dispensable for its binding to the Vgll4 tumor suppressor. Moreover, palmitoylation-deficient TEAD mutants impaired TAZ-mediated muscle differentiation in vitro and tissue overgrowth mediated by the Drosophila YAP homolog Yorkie in vivo. Our study directly links autopalmitoylation to the transcriptional regulation of the Hippo pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-289
Number of pages8
JournalNature Chemical Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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