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Oral Oncol. 2018 Nov;86:25-32. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.08.020. Epub 2018 Sep 11.

The transcriptional co-activator YAP: A new player in head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Molecular Oncology Unit, CIEMAT (ed 70A), Av. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid, Spain; Molecular Oncology, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Research Institute 12 de Octubre i+12, Av. Córdoba s/n, 28041 Madrid, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer (CIBERONC), Av. Monforte de Lemos, 3-5, 28029 Madrid, Spain.
2
Molecular Oncology Unit, CIEMAT (ed 70A), Av. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid, Spain; Molecular Oncology, University Hospital 12 de Octubre, Research Institute 12 de Octubre i+12, Av. Córdoba s/n, 28041 Madrid, Spain; Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Cáncer (CIBERONC), Av. Monforte de Lemos, 3-5, 28029 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address: clorz@ciemat.es.

Abstract

The Hippo-YAP (Yes-associated protein) pathway is a key regulator of tissue growth, organ size and stem cell function. More recently, a fundamental role for this pathway has emerged in stem cell function and tumorigenesis. Activation of the transcriptional co-activator YAP promotes cell-contact independent proliferation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), cancer stem cell features and drug resistance. In this review, we describe the main components of the pathway, the microenvironment and the cell-intrinsic cues governing its activation, the downstream players of the pathway and the biological implications of their activation in the context of cancer. We will focus on the existing knowledge of this pathway in head and neck squamous carcinoma (HNSCC), its clinical value in this type of cancer as a marker of poor prognosis and resistance to therapy, as well as the most encouraging therapeutic strategies targeting the pathway.

KEYWORDS:

Cell growth; Cell proliferation; Head and neck cancer; Hippo pathway; TAZ; YAP; YAP inhibitors

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