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The role of YAP in the control of the metastatic potential of oral cancer


Centre for Oral Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine, Institute of Dentistry, Barts and the London, School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, E1 2AT, UK

* Corresponding Author: HONG WAN. Email:

Oncology Research 2021, 29(6), 377-391.


The Yes-associated protein (YAP) is a downstream effector of the Hippo pathway and acts as a key transcription co-factor to regulate cell migration, proliferation, and survival. The Hippo pathway is evolutionarily conserved and controls tissue growth and organ size. Dysregulation and heterogeneity of this pathway are found in cancers, including oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), leading to overexpression of YAP and its regulated proliferation machinery. The activity of YAP is associated with its nuclear expression and is negatively regulated by the Hippo kinase-mediated phosphorylation resulting in an induction of its cytoplasmic translocation. This review focuses on the role of YAP in OSCC in the context of cancer metastatic potential and highlights the latest findings about the heterogeneity of YAP expression and its nuclear transcription activity in oral cancer cell lines. The review also discusses the potential target of YAP in oral cancer therapy and the recent finding of the unprecedented role of the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein-3 (DSG3) in regulating Hippo-YAP signaling.


Cite This Article

AHMAD, U. S., SARAVANAN, K., WAN, H. (2021). The role of YAP in the control of the metastatic potential of oral cancer. Oncology Research, 29(6), 377–391.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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