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The hippo pathway in biological control and cancer development

Authors

  • Siew Wee Chan,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Chun Jye Lim,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Liming Chen,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Yaan Fun Chong,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Caixia Huang,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Haiwei Song,

    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
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  • Wanjin Hong

    Corresponding author
    1. Cancer and Developmental Cell Biology Division, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
    2. Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Republic of Singapore
    • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 61 Biopolis Drive, Singapore 138673, Republic of Singapore.
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Abstract

The Hippo pathway is an evolutionally conserved protein kinase cascade involved in regulating organ size in vivo and cell contact inhibition in vitro by governing cell proliferation and apoptosis. Deregulation of the Hippo pathway is linked to cancer development. Its first core kinase Warts was identified in Drosophila more than 15 years ago, but it gained much attention when other core components of the pathway were identified 8 years later. Major discoveries of the pathway were made during past several years. The core kinase components Hippo, Salvador, Warts, and Mats in the fly and Mst1/2, WW45, Lats1/2, and Mob1 in mammals phosphorylate and inactivate downstream transcriptional co-activators Yorkie in the fly, Yes-associated protein (YAP) and transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) in mammals, respectively. Phosphorylated Yorkie, YAP, and TAZ are sequestered in the cytoplasm by interaction with 14-3-3 proteins. Here we review recent progresses of this pathway by focusing on how these proteins communicate with each other and how loss of regulation results in cancers. J. Cell. Physiol. 226: 928–939, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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