Hippo signaling in organ size control

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


The control of organ (or organism) size is a fundamental aspect of life that has long captured human imagination. What makes an elephant grow a million times larger than a mouse? How do our two hands develop independently of each other yet reach very similar size? How does a liver precisely regenerate its original mass when two-thirds of it is removed? The recent discovery of a novel signaling network in Drosophila, known as the Hippo (Hpo) pathway, might provide an important entry point to these fascinating questions. The Hpo pathway consists of several negative growth regulators acting in a kinase cascade that ultimately phosphorylates and inactivates Yorkie (Yki), a transcriptional coactivator that positively regulates cell growth, survival, and proliferation. Components of the Hpo pathway are highly conserved throughout evolution, suggesting that this pathway may function as a global regulator of tissue homeostasis in all metazoan animals. Here, I provide a historical review of this potent growth-regulatory pathway and highlight outstanding questions that will likely be the focus of future investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-897
Number of pages12
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2007


  • Apoptosis
  • Development
  • Genetics
  • Homeostasis
  • Imaginal discs
  • Size control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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