The Eya1 phosphatase promotes shh signaling during hindbrain development and oncogenesis

Adriana Eisner, Maria F. Pazyra-Murphy, Ershela Durresi, Pengcheng Zhou, Xuesong Zhao, Emily C. Chadwick, Pin Xian Xu, R. Tyler Hillman, Matthew P. Scott, Michael E. Greenberg, Rosalind A. Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling is critical in development and oncogenesis, but the mechanisms regulating this pathway remain unclear. Although protein phosphorylation clearly affects Shh signaling, little is known about phosphatases governing the pathway. Here, we conducted a small hairpin RNA (shRNA) screen of the phosphatome and identified Eya1 as a positive regulator of Shh signaling. We find that the catalytically active phosphatase Eya1 cooperates with the DNA-binding protein Six1 to promote gene induction in response to Shh and that Eya1/Six1 together regulate Gli transcriptional activators. We show that Eya1, which is mutated in a human deafness disorder, branchio-oto-renal syndrome, is critical for Shh-dependent hindbrain growth and development. Moreover, Eya1 drives the growth of medulloblastoma, a Shh-dependent hindbrain tumor. Together, these results identify Eya1 and Six1 as key components of the Shh transcriptional network in normal development and in oncogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2015


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