Research Topic

YAP1/Hippo Pathway in Development and Disease

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Cancer development is a multi-step process involving de-regulation of transcription/epigenetic factors and signaling pathways. Accordingly, gene expression lies at the nexus of oncogenic cellular processes. The recent advent of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has shed light on multiple genes involved in ...

Cancer development is a multi-step process involving de-regulation of transcription/epigenetic factors and signaling pathways. Accordingly, gene expression lies at the nexus of oncogenic cellular processes. The recent advent of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) has shed light on multiple genes involved in signaling, transcription and other cellular processes, that are subject to genomic alterations in multiple cancers. These oncogenic drivers are involved in regenerative proliferation, metastasis and other cellular processes that contribute to tumorigenesis. Epithelial-stromal interactions and the infiltrating immune response contribute significantly to tumor progression. TCGA data revealed Hippo pathway activation in multiple cancers. Hippo pathway de-regulation results in increased invasion and metastasis in multiple cancers including melanoma and lung cancers. There are multiple upstream regulators involved in modulating oncogenic Yes Associated Protein 1 (YAP1) activity. YAP1 is a member of the Hippo pathway. It acts as a transcriptional coactivator by interacting with other proteins such as ERBB4, TEAD family, RUNX1, p73, etc to drive multiple transcriptional programs. YAP1 lies at the nexus of multiple oncogenic cellular processes as evident from studies in various cancers including melanoma and pancreatic cancer. YAP1 has also been shown to play a role in the regulation of cancer stem cell phenotype-associated gene, CD44, suggesting a role in maintaining cancer stem cell population, which is resistant to chemotherapy. Context-dependent interaction of YAP1 with various transcription and epigenetic cofactors in various cancers leads to activation of several oncogenic transcriptional programs. Apart from being a driver oncogene, YAP1 is also a critical player in the normal development of organs by maintaining the stem cell pool, regeneration, wound healing, tissue homeostasis and differentiation. All these indicate an important intrinsic role of YAP1 in development and disease making it one of the core signaling pathways in a cell.

This Research Topic is focused on deciphering the complex and mechanistic role of YAP 1 in regulating the diverse phenotypes in development and disease. The articles submitted by experts in the field will serve as a forum for discussion about the pathway to better understand the complex mechanisms driven by YAP1. We welcome articles focusing on the latest developments of YAP1 in organ development, tumor progression and resistance mechanisms to currently available treatment options including the BRAF inhibitors, and others that are mediated by YAP1 in multiple cancer types.


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