YAP/TAZ as mechanosensors and mechanotransducers in regulating organ size and tumor growth

Boon Chuan Low, Catherine Qiurong Pan, G. V. Shivashankar, Alexander Bershadsky, Marius Sudol, Michael Sheetz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

324 Scopus citations


Organ size is controlled by the concerted action of biochemical and physical processes. Although mechanical forces are known to regulate cell and tissue behavior, as well as organogenesis, the precise molecular events that integrate mechanical and biochemical signals to control these processes are not fully known. The recently delineated Hippo-tumor suppressor network and its two nuclear effectors, YAP and TAZ, shed light on these mechanisms. YAP and TAZ are proto-oncogene proteins that respond to complex physical milieu represented by the rigidity of the extracellular matrix, cell geometry, cell density, cell polarity and the status of the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we review the current knowledge of how YAP and TAZ function as mechanosensors and mechanotransducers. We also suggest that by deciphering the mechanical and biochemical signals controlling YAP/TAZ function, we will gain insights into new strategies for cancer treatment and organ regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2663-2670
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - 19 Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Hippo tumor suppressor
  • Mechanosensor
  • Mechanotransducer
  • Organ size


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