YAP and TAZ: Monocorial and bicorial transcriptional co-activators in human cancers

Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2022 Jul;1877(4):188756. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2022.188756. Epub 2022 Jun 28.


The transcriptional regulators YAP and TAZ are involved in numerous physiological processes including organ development, growth, immunity and tissue regeneration. YAP and TAZ dysregulation also contribute to tumorigenesis, thereby making them attractive cancer therapeutic targets. Arbitrarily, YAP and TAZ are often considered as a single protein, and are referred to as YAP/TAZ in most studies. However, increasing experimental evidences documented that YAP and TAZ perform both overlapping and distinct functions in several physiological and pathological processes. In addition to regulating distinct processes, YAP and TAZ are also regulated by distinct upstream cues. The aim of the review is to describe the distinct roles of YAP and TAZ focusing particularly on cancer. Therapeutic strategies targeting either YAP and TAZ proteins or only one of them should be carefully evaluated. Selective targeting of YAP or TAZ may in fact impair different pathways and determine diverse clinical outputs.

Keywords: Breast cancer; CRC; Lung cancer; TAZ; Therapy; YAP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • YAP-Signaling Proteins