Hippo pathway and breast cancer stem cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tumors contain a specialized subset of cells with unique properties, such as self-renewal and tumorigenic potential. These cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) are supposed to be responsible for therapeutic resistance and metastatic spread. Functional characterization of breast CSCs (BCSCs) is beginning to shed light on molecular networks which are specifically activated in this cellular compartment, and that account for the retention/acquisition of stem-like features. The Hippo tumor suppressor pathway has increasingly been tied to breast cancer. Altered Hippo activity, or Hippo-independent mechanisms, mediate the activation of the Hippo transducers TAZ and YAP. When this occurs, cancer cells acquire more aggressive traits. In the realm of BCSCs, improper TAZ/YAP activity sustains self-renewal, resistance to conventional anticancer agents, and metastatic dissemination. In this review, we highlight the involvement of TAZ and YAP in mammary gland development and in BCSCs. We also discuss potential strategies for transferring this information into the clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer stem Cells
  • Hippo pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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