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Histol Histopathol. 2013 Nov;28(11):1483-90. doi: 10.14670/HH-28.1483. Epub 2013 May 15.

Differential expression of Yes-associated protein and phosphorylated Yes-associated protein is correlated with expression of Ki-67 and phospho-ERK in colorectal adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Pathology, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a transcriptional co-activator and functions as a nuclear downstream effector of the Hippo pathway. Differential expression of YAP and phosphorylated Yes-associated protein (pYAP), which are involved in the expression of Ki-67 and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) in colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRAC), is not clear. Herein, we hypothesized that nuclear expression of YAP could predict cell proliferation and poor prognosis, while cytoplasmic expression of pYAP would show a reverse correlation with cell proliferation. Paraffin-embedded samples from 144 CRAC patients were studied using immunohistochemistry for YAP, pYAP, Ki-67 and pERK. Frozen samples from 20 CRAC patients were examined for YAP mRNA in tumor and non-tumor tissues, using quantitative real-time PCR. High nuclear YAP expression coincided with high Ki-67 expression (P=0.002). The high nuclear YAP expression group tended to display a poor overall and disease-free survival (P=0.089 and P=0.089, respectively), but YAP mRNA levels in the 20 CRAC tissues were not significantly different in comparison with the 20 non-tumor tissues (P=0.929). We observed an inverse correlation between high cytoplasmic pYAP expression and high Ki-67 expression (P=0.001). Nuclear pERK expression was positively correlated with nuclear YAP expression, but negatively correlated with cytoplasmic pYAP expression (P=0.017 and P=0.020, respectively). Activated nuclear YAP and inactivated cytoplasmic pYAP in CRAC showed a positive correlation with Ki-67 and nuclear pERK expression, suggesting that the expression of YAP and pYAP is a possible predictor of tumor cell proliferation and prognosis in CRAC.

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