LATS2 (Large tumor suppressor 2), a member of the conserved AGC Ser/Thr (S/T) kinase family, is a human tumor suppressor gene. Here, we show that in response to ultraviolet radiation, Lats2 is phosphorylated by Chk1 at Ser835 (S835), which is located in the kinase domain of Lats2. This phosphorylation enhances Lats2 kinase activity. Subsequently, Lats2 phosphorylates p21 at S146. p21 (CDKN1A) is a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, which not only regulates the cell cycle by inhibition of CDK, but also inhibits apoptosis by binding to procaspase-3 in the cytoplasm. Phosphorylation by Lats2 induces degradation of p21 and promotes apoptosis. Accordingly, Lats2 overexpression induces p21 degradation, activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9, and apoptosis. These findings describe a novel Lats2-dependent mechanism for induction of cell death in response to severe DNA damage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology