Transduction of mechanical and cytoskeletal cues by YAP and TAZ

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Sep;13(9):591-600. doi: 10.1038/nrm3416. Epub 2012 Aug 16.


The physical and mechanical properties of the cellular microenvironment regulate cell shape and can strongly influence cell fate. How mechanical cues are sensed and transduced to regulate gene expression has long remained elusive. Recently, cues from the extracellular matrix, cell adhesion sites, cell shape and the actomyosin cytoskeleton were found to converge on the regulation of the downstream effectors of the Hippo pathway YAP (Yes-associated protein) and TAZ (transcriptional co-activator with PDZ-binding motif) in vertebrates and Yorkie in flies. This convergence may explain how mechanical signals can direct normal and pathological cell behaviour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Shape
  • Cellular Microenvironment
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Transcription Factors


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • WWTR1 protein, human
  • YAP1 (Yes-associated) protein, human