Hippo signaling dysfunction induces cancer cell addiction to YAP

Oncogene. 2018 Dec;37(50):6414-6424. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0419-5. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Over the past decades, the Hippo has been established as a crucial pathway involved in organ size control and cancer suppression. Dysregulation of Hippo signaling and hyperactivation of its downstream effector YAP are frequently associated with various human cancers. However, the underlying significance of such YAP activation in cancer development and therapy has not been fully characterized. In this study, we reported that the Hippo signaling deficiency can lead to a YAP-dependent oncogene addiction for cancer cells. Through a clinical compound library screen, we identified histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as putative inhibitors to suppress YAP expression. Importantly, HDAC inhibitors specifically targeted the viability and xenograft tumor growth for the cancer cells in which YAP is constitutively active. Taken together, our results not only establish an active YAP-induced oncogene addiction in cancer cells, but also lay the foundation to develop targeted therapies for the cancers with Hippo dysfunction and YAP activation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Female
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Oncogene Addiction*
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP1 (Yes-associated) protein, human
  • Hippo protein, human
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases