The Hippo transducers TAZ and YAP in breast cancer: oncogenic activities and clinical implications

Ruggero De Maria Marchiano, Marcello Maugeri-Saccà, Maddalena Barba, Laura Pizzuti, Patrizia Vici, Luigi Di Lauro, Rosanna Dattilo, Ilio Vitale, Monica Bartucci, Marcella Mottolese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The Hippo signalling is emerging as a tumour suppressor pathway whose function is regulated by an intricate network of intracellular and extracellular cues. Defects in the signal cascade lead to the activation of the Hippo transducers TAZ and YAP. Compelling preclinical evidence showed that TAZ/YAP are often aberrantly engaged in breast cancer (BC), where their hyperactivation culminates into a variety of tumour-promoting functions such as epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, cancer stem cell generation and therapeutic resistance. Having acquired a more thorough understanding in the biology of TAZ/YAP, and the molecular outputs they elicit, has prompted a first wave of exploratory, clinically-focused analyses aimed at providing initial hints on the prognostic/predictive significance of their expression. In this review, we discuss oncogenic activities linked with TAZ/YAP in BC, and we propose clinical strategies for investigating their role as biomarkers in the clinical setting. Finally, we address the therapeutic potential of TAZ/YAP targeting and the modalities that, in our opinion, should be pursued in order to further study the biological and clinical consequences of their inhibition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Reviews in Molecular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • breast cancer


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