Upstream regulators of the Hippo signaling pathway in liver development and cancer

Liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, primarily because of late diagnosis and scanty therapeutic options. Animal studies have demonstrated that the Hippo intracellular signalling pathway is critical in regulating liver size and liver cell fate and is a potential tumour suppressor in the liver.

Loss of cell-cell adhesion is associated with the progression and poor prognosis of liver cancer. In this project, we will explore whether loss of cell-cell adhesion regulates Hippo signalling in liver cells. We are particularly interested in how loss of cadherin molecules can regulate the Hippo signalling pathway and subsequently contribute to liver development and cancer. The findings generated from this proposal will increase our understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in liver development and tumourigenesis.