A WW domain-containing Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a novel transcriptional co-activator

Ryohei Yagi, Lin Feng Chen, Katsuya Shigesada, Yota Murakami, Yoshiaki Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A protein module called the WW domain recognizes and binds to a short oligopeptide called the PY motif, PPxY, to mediate protein-protein interactions. The PY motif is present in the transcription activation domains of a wide range of transcription factors including c-Jun, AP-2, NF-E2, C/EBPα and PEBP2/CBF, suggesting that it plays an important role in transcriptional activation. We show here that mutation of the PY motif in the subregion of the activation domain of the DNA-binding subunit of PEBP2, PEBP2α, abolishes its transactivation function. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, we demonstrate that Yes-associated protein (YAP) binds to the PY motif of PEBP2α through its WW domain. The C-terminal region of YAP fused to the DNA-binding domain of GAL4 showed transactivation as strong as that of GAL4-VP16. Exogenously expressed YAP conferred transcription-stimulating activity on the PY motif fused to the GAL4 DNA-binding domain as well as to native PEBP2α. The osteocalcin promoter was stimulated by exogenous PEBP2αA and a dominant negative form of YAP strongly inhibited this activity, suggesting YAP involvement in this promoter activity in vivo. These results indicate that the PY motif is a novel transcription activation domain that functions by recruiting YAP as a strong transcription activator to target genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2551-2562
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 4 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Co-activator
  • PEBP2
  • PY motif
  • WW domain
  • Yes-associated protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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