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Expression patterns of Yes-associated protein 1 in the developing mouse liver

Posted April 12, 2018 | Publications

Wei W, Lotto J, Hoodless PAGene Expr Patterns. 2018 Apr 5. pii: S1567-133X(18)30017-6. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2018.04.003. [Epub ahead of print]


The Hippo signalling pathway regulates many cellular processes, but has been specifically associated with control organ size and tumor growth. Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) is a transcriptional cofactor, in the Hippo pathway, that regulates gene expression when localized in the nucleus. Elevated expression of YAP1 in adult mouse liver leads to hepatomegaly and can cause hepatocellular carcinoma; while the loss of function studies reveal its importance in regulating cholangiocyte development. Here, we report the expression of YAP1 in mouse embryonic and postnatal hepatic cells, using AFP-GFP transgenic mice to identify the hepatocyte lineage. At embryonic day (E) 8.5, YAP1 is highly expressed in the endoderm, but is not present in the nucleus. Between E9.5-12.5, hepatic cells display low levels of nuclear and non-nuclear YAP1. The nuclear expression of YAP1 is first detected in a small subset of hepatic cells starting at E13.5 when the hepatoblasts begin to differentiate into hepatocytes and cholangiocytes. At E18.5, nuclear YAP1 is nearly undetectable in hepatoblasts and hepatocytes, but enriched within the nuclei of cholangiocytes. These levels remain similar postnatally, consistent with the role of YAP1 in cholangiocyte specification and maintenance.

PMID: 29627454