Photo of Yingzi Yang,  PhD

Yingzi Yang, PhD

Harvard School Of Dental Medicine

Harvard School Of Dental Medicine
Phone: (617) 432-8304


yingzi_yang@hsdm.harvard.edu

Yingzi Yang, PhD

Harvard School Of Dental Medicine

EDUCATIONAL TITLES

  • Professor, Developmental Biology, Harvard School Of Dental Medicine
  • Professor and Associate Dean for Translational Research, Developmental Biology, Harvard School Of Dental Medicine

DF/HCC PROGRAM AFFILIATION

Research Abstract

Our lab is interested in understanding critical cellular and molecular events controlled by the Hippo and Wnt signaling pathways in the liver. We are exploiting approaches of genetics, biochemistry and genomics to gain better understanding of hepatobiology and liver cancer. Our research efforts are focused on the following directions: (1) define the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of hepatocyte proliferation and differentiation by Hippo and Wnt signaling; (2) define the roles of Hippo and Wnt signaling in shaping tumor immune microenvironment, and (3) develop therapeutic strategies to treat liver cancer. It has been long hypothesized that cancer originated at sites of chronic inflammation and recent studies have expanded the concept that inflammation is a critical component of tumor progression. The tumor microenvironment, largely orchestrated by inflammatory cells, is an indispensable participant in the neoplastic process, fostering proliferation, survival and migration. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary malignancy of the liver, is a major health problem, being the fifth most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer deaths in the world. In most cases, human HCC is driven by chronic liver inflammation caused by activation of many types of inflammatory cells due to chronic viral hepatitis, metabolic liver diseases and alcohol abuse. The recently discovered tumor suppressive Hippo signaling pathway has gained great interest as being critical regulators of cancer progression and our lab has performed extensive studies in understanding the roles of Hippo signaling in liver cancer biology.

Publications

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  • Zhou T, Gao B, Fan Y, Liu Y, Feng S, Cong Q, Zhang X, Zhou Y, Yadav PS, Lin J, Wu N, Zhao L, Huang D, Zhou S, Su P, Yang Y. Piezo1/2 mediate mechanotransduction essential for bone formation through concerted activation of NFAT-YAP1-ß-catenin. Elife 2020. PubMed
  • Gan W, Dai X, Dai X, Xie J, Yin S, Zhu J, Wang C, Liu Y, Guo J, Wang M, Liu J, Hu J, Quinton RJ, Ganem NJ, Liu P, Asara JM, Pandolfi PP, Yang Y, He Z, Gao G, Wei W. LATS suppresses mTORC1 activity to directly coordinate Hippo and mTORC1 pathways in growth control. Nat Cell Biol 2020; 22:246-256. PubMed
  • Cho YS, Li S, Wang X, Zhu J, Zhuo S, Han Y, Yue T, Yang Y, Jiang J. CDK7 regulates organ size and tumor growth by safeguarding the Hippo pathway effector Yki/Yap/Taz in the nucleus. Genes Dev 2019. PubMed
  • Clara JA, Monge C, Yang Y, Takebe N. Targeting signalling pathways and the immune microenvironment of cancer stem cells - a clinical update. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2019. PubMed
  • Wickström SA, Yang Y. Editorial overview: Cell differentiation and development - wiring principles of transcriptional states, signaling networks and cell fate trajectories. Curr Opin Cell Biol 2019; 61:iii-vi. PubMed
  • Deng Q, Li P, Che M, Liu J, Biswas S, Ma G, He L, Wei Z, Zhang Z, Yang Y, Liu H, Li B. Activation of hedgehog signaling in mesenchymal stem cells induces cartilage and bone tumor formation via Wnt/β-Catenin. Elife 2019. PubMed
  • Seo W, Gao Y, He Y, Sun J, Xu H, Feng D, Park SH, Cho YE, Guillot A, Ren T, Wu R, Wang J, Kim SJ, Hwang S, Liangpunsakul S, Yang Y, Niu J, Gao B. ALDH2 deficiency promotes alcohol-associated liver cancer by activating oncogenic pathways via oxidized DNA-enriched extracellular vesicles. J Hepatol 2019. PubMed
  • Kim W, Cho YS, Wang X, Park O, Ma X, Kim H, Gan W, Jho EH, Cha B, Jeung YJ, Zhang L, Gao B, Wei W, Jiang J, Chung KS, Yang Y. Hippo signaling is intrinsically regulated during cell cycle progression by APC/C. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2019; 116:9423-9432. PubMed
  • Jiang Y, Feng D, Ma X, Fan S, Gao Y, Fu K, Wang Y, Sun J, Yao X, Liu C, Zhang H, Xu L, Liu A, Gonzalez FJ, Yang Y, Gao B, Huang M, Bi H. Pregnane X Receptor Regulates Liver Size and Liver Cell Fate by Yes-Associated Protein Activation in Mice. Hepatology 2019; 69:343-358. PubMed
  • Zhao X, Deng P, Iglesias-Bartolome R, Amornphimoltham P, Steffen DJ, Jin Y, Molinolo AA, de Castro LF, Ovejero D, Yuan Q, Chen Q, Han X, Bai D, Taylor SS, Yang Y, Collins MT, Gutkind JS. Expression of an active Gα mutant in skeletal stem cells is sufficient and necessary for fibrous dysplasia initiation and maintenance. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 115:E428-E437. PubMed
  • Kim W, Khan SK, Liu Y, Xu R, Park O, He Y, Cha B, Gao B, Yang Y. Hepatic Hippo signaling inhibits protumoural microenvironment to suppress hepatocellular carcinoma. Gut 2019; 67:1692-1703. PubMed
  • Gao B, Ajima R, Yang W, Li C, Song H, Anderson MJ, Liu RR, Lewandoski MB, Yamaguchi TP, Yang Y. Coordinated directional outgrowth and pattern formation by integration of Wnt5a and Fgf signaling in planar cell polarity. Development 2019. PubMed
  • Khan SK, Yadav PS, Elliott G, Hu DZ, Xu R, Yang Y. Induced expression from the endogenous locus causes fibrous dysplasia by up-regulating Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 115:E418-E427. PubMed
  • Yang W, Garrett L, Feng D, Elliott G, Liu X, Wang N, Wong YM, Choi NT, Yang Y, Gao B. Wnt-induced Vangl2 phosphorylation is dose-dependently required for planar cell polarity in mammalian development. Cell Res 2018; 27:1466-1484. PubMed
  • Kim W, Khan SK, Yang Y. Interacting network of Hippo, Wnt/β-catenin and Notch signaling represses liver tumor formation. BMB Rep 2019; 50:1-2. PubMed
  • Kim W, Khan SK, Gvozdenovic-Jeremic J, Kim Y, Dahlman J, Kim H, Park O, Ishitani T, Jho EH, Gao B, Yang Y. Hippo signaling interactions with Wnt/β-catenin and Notch signaling repress liver tumorigenesis. J Clin Invest 2018; 127:137-152. PubMed
  • Song H, Mak KK, Topol L, Yun K, Hu J, Garrett L, Chen Y, Park O, Chang J, Simpson RM, Wang CY, Gao B, Jiang J, Yang Y. Mammalian Mst1 and Mst2 kinases play essential roles in organ size control and tumor suppression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2018; 107:1431-6. PubMed
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