Intestinal tumorigenesis is a result of mutations in signaling pathways that control cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival. Mutations in the Wnt/β-catenin pathway are associated with the majority of intestinal cancers, while dysregulation of the Hippo/Yes-Associated Protein (YAP) pathway is an emerging regulator of intestinal tumorigenesis. In addition, these closely related pathways play a central role during intestinal regeneration. We have previously shown that methylation of the Hippo transducer YAP by the lysine methyltransferase SETD7 controls its subcellular localization and function. We now show that SETD7 is required for Wnt-driven intestinal tumorigenesis and regeneration. Mechanistically, SETD7 is part of a complex containing YAP, AXIN1, and β-catenin, and SETD7-dependent methylation of YAP facilitates Wnt-induced nuclear accumulation of β-catenin. Collectively, these results define a methyltransferase-dependent regulatory mechanism that links the Wnt/β-catenin and Hippo/YAP pathways during intestinal regeneration and tumorigenesis. The Wnt/β-catenin and Hippo/YAP pathways are intimately linked in structure and function. Oudhoff et al. provide evidence that the lysine methyltransferase SETD7 is a central link between these pathways. SETD7-dependent methylation of YAP is required for optimal β-catenin-dependent gene expression. Accordingly, loss of SETD7 attenuates Wnt-dependent intestinal tumorigenesis and regeneration.
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