Yap controls stem/progenitor cell proliferation in the mouse postnatal epidermis

Annemiek Beverdam, Christina Claxton, Xiaomeng Zhang, Gregory James, Kieran F. Harvey, Brian Key

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42 Citations (Scopus)


Tissue renewal is an ongoing process in the epithelium of the skin. We have begun to examine the genetic mechanisms that control stem/progenitor cell activation in the postnatal epidermis. The conserved Hippo pathway regulates stem cell turnover in arthropods through to vertebrates. Here we show that its downstream effector, yes-associated protein (YAP), is active in the stem/progenitor cells of the postnatal epidermis. Overexpression of a C-terminally truncated YAP mutant in the basal epidermis of transgenic mice caused marked expansion of epidermal stem/progenitor cell populations. Our data suggest that the C-terminus of YAP controls the balance between stem/progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation in the postnatal interfollicular epidermis. We conclude that YAP functions as a molecular switch of stem/progenitor cell activation in the epidermis. Moreover, our results highlight YAP as a possible therapeutic target for diseases such as skin cancer, psoriasis, and epidermolysis bullosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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