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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 187070, 7 pages
Review Article

The Hippo-Yes Association Protein Pathway in Liver Cancer

Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai 10th People's Hospital, Tongji University, School of Medicine, No. 301, Yanchang Road, Shanghai 200072, China

Received 14 April 2013; Accepted 18 June 2013

Academic Editor: Fabio Farinati

Copyright © 2013 Lu Jie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and the third leading cause of cancer mortality. Despite continuing development of new therapies, prognosis for patients with HCC remains extremely poor. In recent years, control of organ size becomes a hot topic in HCC development. The Hippo signaling pathway has been delineated and shown to be critical in controlling organ size in both Drosophila and mammals. The Hippo kinase cascade, a singling pathway that antagonizes the transcriptional coactivator Yes-associated protein (YAP), plays an important role in animal organ size control by regulating cell proliferation and apoptosis rates. During HCC development, this pathway is likely inactivated in tumor initiated cells that escape suppressive constrain exerted by the surrounding normal tissue, thus allowing clonal expansion and tumor development. We have reviewed evolutionary changes in YAP as well as other components of the Hippo pathway and described the relationships between YAP genes and HCC. We also discuss regulation of transcription factors that are up- and downstream of YAP in liver cancer development.