Dual roles of yes-associated protein (YAP) in colorectal cancer

  • Ou C
  • Sun Z
  • Li S
  • et al.
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© Ou et al. Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a downstream effector molecule of a newly emerging tumour suppressor pathway called the Hippo pathway. YAP is a transcriptional co-activator and mis-expressed in various cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC). Accumulating studies show that the high expression of nuclear YAP is linked with tumour progression and decreased survival. Nuclear YAP can interact with other transcription factors to promote cancer cell proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis and maintenance of stemness. Therefore, YAP has the potential to be a tumour biomarker or therapeutic target for CRC. However, recently, a number of studies have supported a contradictory role for YAP as a tumour suppressor, demonstrating inhibition of the tumorigenesis of CRC, involvement in promoting cell apoptosis, and inhibiting the maintenance of intestinal stem cells and inflammatory activity. In these studies, high expression of YAP was highly correlated with worse survival in CRC. In this review, we will comprehensively summarize and analyse these paradoxical reports, and discuss both the oncogenic and tumour suppressor functions of YAP in the differential status of CRC progression. Further investigation into the mechanisms responsible for the dual function of YAP will be of great value in the prevention, early diagnosis, and therapy of CRC.




Ou, C., Sun, Z., Li, S., Li, G., Li, X., & Ma, J. (2017). Dual roles of yes-associated protein (YAP) in colorectal cancer. Oncotarget, 8(43). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20155

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