The transcription coactivator, Yes-associated protein (YAP), which is a nuclear effector of the Hippo signaling pathway, has been shown to be a mechano-transducer. By using mutant fish and human 3D spheroids, we have recently demonstrated that YAP is also a mechano-effector. YAP functions in three-dimensional (3D) morphogenesis of organ and global body shape by controlling actomyosin-mediated tissue tension. In this chapter, we present a platform that links the findings in fish embryos with human cells. The protocols for analyzing tissue tension-mediated global body shape/organ morphogenesis in vivo and ex vivo using medaka fish embryos and in vitro using human cell spheroids represent useful tools for unraveling the molecular mechanisms by which YAP functions in regulating global body/organ morphogenesis.
Keywords: 3D morphogenesis; Human spheroid; Medaka; Mutant; Tissue tension; YAP; Zebrafish.