Thursday 5 July 2007
The Salvador-Warts-Hippo (SWH) pathway, involved in tissue growth control in Drosophila melanogaster. At present, eleven proteins have been implicated as members of this pathway, and several downstream effector genes have been characterized.
The importance of this pathway is emphasized by its evolutionary conservation, and by increasing evidence that its deregulation occurs in human tumours.
Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster have delineated the Hippo pathway, which has an important role in restraining cell proliferation and promoting apoptosis in differentiating epithelial cells.
Much like cancer cells, cells that contain mutations for components of the Hippo pathway proliferate inappropriately and have a competitive edge in genetically mosaic tissues.
Although poorly characterized in mammals, several components of the Hippo pathway seem to be tumour suppressors in humans.