Objective(s): The objective of the present manuscript is to elucidate the role of matrix stiffness in the malignant transformation of oral submucous fibrosis. Design: The role of matrix stiffness in several cancers including oral cancer was reviewed with a tailored search strategy using relevant keywords as per the Medline format. The role of molecular mediators, Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP) and transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) was weighed in the context of OSF along two distinct pathways. Results: Increased matrix stiffness activates the transcriptional coactivators, YAP and TAZ shuttling between the nucleus and cytoplasm. YAP and TAZ, serve as mechanical transducers in promoting cell migration, invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The hypoxic microenvironment in the advanced stage of OSF promotes the migratory phenotype through mechanical memory. Conclusions: Reprogramming of a stiff matrix has the potential to restore the Hippo-YAP/TAZ tumor suppressor pathway and reverse fibrosis-associated tumor development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology