Emerging studies indicate that the Hippo pathway, a highly conserved pathway that regulates organ size control, plays an important role in governing ovarian physiology, fertility, and pathology. Specific to the ovary, the spatiotemporal expression of the major components of the Hippo signaling cascade are observed throughout the reproductive lifespan. Observations from multiple species begin to elucidate the functional diversity and molecular mechanisms of Hippo signaling in the ovary in addition to the identification of interactions with other signaling pathways and responses to various external stimuli. Hippo pathway components play important roles in follicle growth and activation, as well as steroidogenesis, by regulating several key biological processes through mechanisms of cell proliferation, migration, differentiation, and cell fate determination. Given the importance of these processes, dysregulation of the Hippo pathway contributes to loss of follicular homeostasis and reproductive disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian insufficiency, and ovarian cancers. This review highlights what is currently known about the Hippo pathway core components in ovarian physiology, including ovarian development, follicle development, and oocyte maturation, while identifying areas for future research to better understand Hippo signaling as a multifunctional pathway in reproductive health and biology.
- Hippo signaling
- ovarian cancer
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism