Keywords
Last Name

Xaralabos Varelas, PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DepartmentBiochemistry
Address72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
Boston MA 02118
Phone(617) 638-4182
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-2882-4541
 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
The research objective of our lab is to understand the molecular mechanisms by which cells coordinate growth with cell fate during animal development and the onset of disease. We are particularly interested in the role of the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway in controlling these processes. The Hippo pathway has emerged as a major regulator of tissue growth and organ size, and has a crucial role in directing signals that are transmitted by secreted growth factors, such those initiated by TGFß and Wnt. Deregulation of the Hippo pathway is linked to many diseases, including several forms of cancer. We are incorporating both directed and systems-based approaches to understand the roles and regulation of the Hippo pathway, with an emphasis on defining deregulated events that impact on tumor initiation and progression.

 Self-Described Keywords
  • Cell Polarity
  • Hippo pathway
  • Smad
  • TAZ
  • TGF-beta
  • YAP
 Publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. Hiemer SE, Zhang L, Kartha VK, Packer TS, Almershed M, Noonan V, Kukuruzinska M, Bais MV, Monti S, Varelas X. A YAP/TAZ-Regulated Molecular Signature Is Associated with Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Mol Cancer Res. 2015 Jun; 13(6):957-68.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Narimatsu M, Samavarchi-Tehrani P, Varelas X, Wrana JL. Distinct Polarity Cues Direct Taz/Yap and TGFß Receptor Localization to Differentially Control TGFß-Induced Smad Signaling. Dev Cell. 2015 Mar 9; 32(5):652-6.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Mori M, Mahoney JE, Stupnikov MR, Paez-Cortez JR, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X, Herrick DB, Schwob J, Zhang H, Cardoso WV. Notch3-Jagged signaling controls the pool of undifferentiated airway progenitors. Development. 2015 Jan 15; 142(2):258-67.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Liu F, Lagares D, Choi KM, Stopfer L, Marinkovic A, Vrbanac V, Probst CK, Hiemer SE, Sisson TH, Horowitz JC, Rosas IO, Fredenburgh LE, Feghali-Bostwick C, Varelas X, Tager AM, Tschumperlin DJ. Mechanosignaling through YAP and TAZ drives fibroblast activation and fibrosis. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015 Feb 15; 308(4):L344-57.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Varelas X, Kukuruzinska MA. Head and neck cancer: from research to therapy and cure. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014 Dec; 1333(1):1-32.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Mahoney JE, Mori M, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X, Cardoso WV. The hippo pathway effector Yap controls patterning and differentiation of airway epithelial progenitors. Dev Cell. 2014 Jul 28; 30(2):137-50.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Varelas X, Bouchie MP, Kukuruzinska MA. Protein N-glycosylation in oral cancer: dysregulated cellular networks among DPAGT1, E-cadherin adhesion and canonical Wnt signaling. Glycobiology. 2014 Jul; 24(7):579-91.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Varelas X. The Hippo pathway effectors TAZ and YAP in development, homeostasis and disease. Development. 2014 Apr; 141(8):1614-26.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Hiemer SE, Szymaniak AD, Varelas X. The transcriptional regulators TAZ and YAP direct transforming growth factor ß-induced tumorigenic phenotypes in breast cancer cells. J Biol Chem. 2014 May 9; 289(19):13461-74.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Beyer TA, Weiss A, Khomchuk Y, Huang K, Ogunjimi AA, Varelas X, Wrana JL. Switch enhancers interpret TGF-ß and Hippo signaling to control cell fate in human embryonic stem cells. Cell Rep. 2013 Dec 26; 5(6):1611-24.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Chaulk SG, Lattanzi VJ, Hiemer SE, Fahlman RP, Varelas X. The Hippo pathway effectors TAZ/YAP regulate dicer expression and microRNA biogenesis through Let-7. J Biol Chem. 2014 Jan 24; 289(4):1886-91.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Enger TB, Samad-Zadeh A, Bouchie MP, Skarstein K, Galtung HK, Mera T, Walker J, Menko AS, Varelas X, Faustman DL, Jensen JL, Kukuruzinska MA. The Hippo signaling pathway is required for salivary gland development and its dysregulation is associated with Sjogren''s syndrome. Lab Invest. 2013 Nov; 93(11):1203-18.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Liu G, Sengupta PK, Jamal B, Yang HY, Bouchie MP, Lindner V, Varelas X, Kukuruzinska MA. N-glycosylation induces the CTHRC1 protein and drives oral cancer cell migration. J Biol Chem. 2013 Jul 12; 288(28):20217-27.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Hiemer SE, Varelas X. Stem cell regulation by the Hippo pathway. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Feb; 1830(2):2323-34.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Varelas X, Wrana JL. Coordinating developmental signaling: novel roles for the Hippo pathway. Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Feb; 22(2):88-96.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Mauviel A, Nallet-Staub F, Varelas X. Integrating developmental signals: a Hippo in the (path)way. Oncogene. 2012 Apr 5; 31(14):1743-56.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Ceccarelli DF, Tang X, Pelletier B, Orlicky S, Xie W, Plantevin V, Neculai D, Chou YC, Ogunjimi A, Al-Hakim A, Varelas X, Koszela J, Wasney GA, Vedadi M, Dhe-Paganon S, Cox S, Xu S, Lopez-Girona A, Mercurio F, Wrana J, Durocher D, Meloche S, Webb DR, Tyers M, Sicheri F. An allosteric inhibitor of the human Cdc34 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. Cell. 2011 Jun 24; 145(7):1075-87.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Varelas X, Samavarchi-Tehrani P, Narimatsu M, Weiss A, Cockburn K, Larsen BG, Rossant J, Wrana JL. The Crumbs complex couples cell density sensing to Hippo-dependent control of the TGF-ß-SMAD pathway. Dev Cell. 2010 Dec 14; 19(6):831-44.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Varelas X, Miller BW, Sopko R, Song S, Gregorieff A, Fellouse FA, Sakuma R, Pawson T, Hunziker W, McNeill H, Wrana JL, Attisano L. The Hippo pathway regulates Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. Dev Cell. 2010 Apr 20; 18(4):579-91.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Ogunjimi AA, Wiesner S, Briant DJ, Varelas X, Sicheri F, Forman-Kay J, Wrana JL. The ubiquitin binding region of the Smurf HECT domain facilitates polyubiquitylation and binding of ubiquitylated substrates. J Biol Chem. 2010 Feb 26; 285(9):6308-15.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Sopko R, Silva E, Clayton L, Gardano L, Barrios-Rodiles M, Wrana J, Varelas X, Arbouzova NI, Shaw S, Saburi S, Matakatsu H, Blair S, McNeill H. Phosphorylation of the tumor suppressor fat is regulated by its ligand Dachsous and the kinase discs overgrown. Curr Biol. 2009 Jul 14; 19(13):1112-7.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Varelas X, Sakuma R, Samavarchi-Tehrani P, Peerani R, Rao BM, Dembowy J, Yaffe MB, Zandstra PW, Wrana JL. TAZ controls Smad nucleocytoplasmic shuttling and regulates human embryonic stem-cell self-renewal. Nat Cell Biol. 2008 Jul; 10(7):837-48.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Varelas X, Stuart D, Ellison MJ, Ptak C. The Cdc34/SCF ubiquitination complex mediates Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall integrity. Genetics. 2006 Dec; 174(4):1825-39.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Ptak C, Varelas X, Moraes T, McKenna S, Ellison MJ. Purification and properties of the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Cdc34 and Ubc13.Mms2. Methods Enzymol. 2005; 398:43-54.
    View in: PubMed
  25. Varelas X, Ptak C, Ellison MJ. Cdc34 self-association is facilitated by ubiquitin thiolester formation and is required for its catalytic activity. Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Aug; 23(15):5388-400.
    View in: PubMed
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