YAP: At the Crossroad Between Transformation and Tumor Suppression

Cell Cycle. 2009 Jan 1;8(1):49-57. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.1.7259. Epub 2009 Jan 24.


Yap is a small protein that binds to many transcription factors and modulates their activity. Yap was described to increase the ability of p73 in inducing apoptosis as a consequence of damage to the DNA, and therefore its activity was thought to favor tumor-suppression. However, other studies have recently shown a role for Yap in cell differentiation, cell transformation and in the regulation of organ size. It has been demonstrated that the Drosophila Hippo pathway has a mammalian equivalent, and that Yap is part of this pathway, where it might stimulate proliferation. In light of these new findings we ought to re-consider the role of Yap, which seems to be in service of several masters, and whose regulation--likely at the level of PTM--and cellular context might have a pivotal role in the choice of its partners and consequently on the final outcome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / chemistry
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Tumor Protein p73
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • p73 protein, human