The Hippo pathway is a tumor suppressive pathway regulating Yes-associated protein-TEA domain-containing sequence-specific transcription factor (YAP-TEAD) complex. VGLL (Vestigial-like) proteins are transcriptional cofactors competing with YAP for TEAD binding and interfering oncogenic activity of YAP-TEAD complex. We evaluated the expression of VGLL4, YAP, and TEAD4 and assessed their correlations with clinicopathologic factors and prognostic effects in 295 colorectal cancers. VGLL4 was positive in 164 (55.6%) cases and correlated with small tumor size, low pT classification, and absence of lymph node metastasis. YAP and TEAD4 were highly expressed in 138 (46.8%) cases and 144 (48.8%) cases, respectively, and high expressions were associated with presence of lymphovascular invasion and lymph node metastasis, or distant metastasis. VGLL4 expression was significantly correlated with low YAP expression (p<0.001), and had significantly better overall survival than negative expression (p<0.001). High YAP (HR, 2.108; 95% confidence interval, 1.239-3.584; p=0.006) and TEAD4 (1.724; 1.021-2.912; p=0.042) expressions were associated with poor overall survivals. The combined VGLL4 YAP expression showed the best overall survival than other groups (p<0.001). VGLL4 expression (0.381; 0.212-0.683; p=0.001) and combined VGLL4 YAP expression (0.227; 0.108-0.475; p<0.001) were independent good prognostic factors in colorectal cancers. The expressions of VGLL4, YAP, and TEAD4 can be used as prognostic markers in colorectal cancer patients.
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