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      Merlin controls the repair capacity of Schwann cells after injury by regulating Hippo/YAP activity

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          The regenerative capacity of Schwann cells in the PNS underlies functional repair after injury. In this study, Mindos et al. show a new function for the tumor suppressor Merlin and Hippo/YAP signaling in the generation of repair-competent Schwann cells after injury.


          Loss of the Merlin tumor suppressor and activation of the Hippo signaling pathway play major roles in the control of cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. We have identified completely novel roles for Merlin and the Hippo pathway effector Yes-associated protein (YAP) in the control of Schwann cell (SC) plasticity and peripheral nerve repair after injury. Injury to the peripheral nervous system (PNS) causes a dramatic shift in SC molecular phenotype and the generation of repair-competent SCs, which direct functional repair. We find that loss of Merlin in these cells causes a catastrophic failure of axonal regeneration and remyelination in the PNS. This effect is mediated by activation of YAP expression in Merlin-null SCs, and loss of YAP restores axonal regrowth and functional repair. This work identifies new mechanisms that control the regenerative potential of SCs and gives new insight into understanding the correct control of functional nerve repair in the PNS.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Elevated phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate in glia triggers cell-autonomous membrane wrapping and myelination.

           Sandra Goebbels (corresponding) ,  Jan Oltrogge,  Robert Kemper (2010)
          In the developing nervous system, constitutive activation of the AKT/mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway in myelinating glial cells is associated with hypermyelination of the brain, but is reportedly insufficient to drive myelination by Schwann cells. We have hypothesized that it requires additional mechanisms downstream of NRG1/ErbB signaling to trigger myelination in the peripheral nervous system. Here, we demonstrate that elevated levels of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PIP3) have developmental effects on both oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. By generating conditional mouse mutants, we found that Pten-deficient Schwann cells are enhanced in number and can sort and myelinate axons with calibers well below 1 microm. Unexpectedly, mutant glial cells also spirally enwrap C-fiber axons within Remak bundles and even collagen fibrils, which lack any membrane surface. Importantly, PIP3-dependent hypermyelination of central axons, which is observed when targeting Pten in oligodendrocytes, can also be induced after tamoxifen-mediated Cre recombination in adult mice. We conclude that it requires distinct PIP3 effector mechanisms to trigger axonal wrapping. That myelin synthesis is not restricted to early development but can occur later in life is relevant to developmental disorders and myelin disease.
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            Neurofibromatosis type 2.

            Neurofibromatosis type 2 is an autosomal-dominant multiple neoplasia syndrome that results from mutations in the NF2 tumour suppressor gene located on chromosome 22q. It has a frequency of one in 25,000 livebirths and nearly 100% penetrance by 60 years of age. Half of patients inherit a germline mutation from an affected parent and the remainder acquire a de novo mutation for neurofibromatosis type 2. Patients develop nervous system tumours (schwannomas, meningiomas, ependymomas, astrocytomas, and neurofibromas), peripheral neuropathy, ophthalmological lesions (cataracts, epiretinal membranes, and retinal hamartomas), and cutaneous lesions (skin tumours). Optimum treatment is multidisciplinary because of the complexities associated with management of the multiple, progressive, and protean lesions associated with the disorder. We review the molecular pathogenesis, genetics, clinical findings, and management strategies for neurofibromatosis type 2.
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              A Functional Interaction between Hippo-YAP Signaling and FoxO1 Mediates the Oxidative Stress Response

              The Hippo pathway is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of organ size and tumorigenesis that negatively regulates cell growth and survival. Here we report that YAP, the terminal effector of the Hippo pathway, interacts with FoxO1 in the nucleus of cardiomyocytes, thereby promoting survival. YAP and FoxO1 form a functional complex on the promoters of the catalase and MnSOD antioxidant genes and stimulate their transcription. Inactivation of YAP, induced by Hippo activation, suppresses FoxO1 activity and decreases antioxidant gene expression, suggesting that Hippo signaling modulates the FoxO1-mediated antioxidant response. In the setting of ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) in the heart, activation of Hippo antagonizes YAP-FoxO1, leading to enhanced oxidative stress-induced cell death through downregulation of catalase and MnSOD. Conversely, restoration of YAP activity protects against I/R injury. These results suggest that YAP is a nuclear co-factor of FoxO1 and that the Hippo pathway negatively affects cardiomyocyte survival by inhibiting the function of YAP-FoxO1.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                February 2017
                : 216
                : 2
                : 495-510
                [1 ]Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth PL6 8BU, England, UK
                [2 ]Leibniz Institute for Age Research – Fritz Lipmann Institute Jena, D-07745 Jena, Germany
                [3 ]Department of Cellular and Anatomical Pathology, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, England, UK
                [4 ]Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205
                [5 ]University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, England, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence to David B. Parkinson: david.parkinson@ 123456plymouth.ac.uk
                © 2017 Mindos et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

                Funded by: UK Medical Research Council, DOI https://doi.org/10.13039/501100000265;
                Award ID: MR/J012785/1
                Research Articles

                Cell biology


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