Cancer letters

Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) promotes human gallbladder tumor growth via activation of the AXL/MAPK pathway.

PMID 25218593


The transcriptional coactivator Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1), a key regulator of cell proliferation and organ size in vertebrates, has been implicated in various malignancies. However, little is known about the expression and biological function of YAP1 in human gallbladder cancer (GBC). In this study we examined the clinical significance and biological functions of YAP1 in GBC and found that nuclear YAP1 and its target gene AXL were overexpressed in GBC tissues. We also observed a significant correlation between high YAP1 and AXL expression levels and worse prognosis. The depletion of YAP1 using lentivirus shRNAs significantly inhibited cell proliferation by inducing cell cycle arrest in S phase in concordance with the decrease of CDK2, CDC25A, and cyclin A, and resulted in increased cell apoptosis and invasive repression in GBC cell lines in vitro. Furthermore, knockdown of YAP1 also inhibited tumor growth in vivo. Additionally, we demonstrated that the activation of the AXL/MAPK pathway was involved in the oncogenic functions of YAP1 in GBC. These results demonstrated that YAP1 is a putative oncogene and represents a prognostic marker and potentially a novel therapeutic target for GBC.