Nic Tapon

Apoptosis and Proliferation Control Laboratory

Our work is aimed at understanding how tissue size is specified during development and adulthood, which remains one of the most challenging questions in biology.

In order to achieve consistent organ and body size in individuals of the same species, cell growth and cell number must be tightly controlled, not only during development, but also during adult homeostasis to prevent tumour formation. Our main interest is the Hippo signalling pathway, a conserved growth-regulatory network that is dysregulated in many cancer types. In particular, we want to understand how Hippo signalling is coupled to both tissue architecture and systemic cues such as nutrient availability.

We use a large array of methods, from Drosophila and mouse genetics, live imaging, through to proteomics, functional genomics and mathematical modelling.


Figure. Hippo pathway inhibition in a developing Drosophila wing. (Click to view larger image)

Selected publications

Ribeiro, P., Holder, M., Frith, D., Snijders, A.P., and Tapon, N. Crumbs promotes expanded recognition and degradation by the SCFSlimb/beta-TrCP ubiquitin ligase. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA. 2014;111(19):E1980-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1315508111.

Mao, Y., Tournier, A.L., Hoppe, A., Kester, L., Thompson, B.J., and Tapon, N. (2013). Differential proliferation rates generate patterns of mechanical tension that orient tissue growth. EMBO J 32, 2790-2803.

Wehr, M.C., Holder, M.V., Gailite, I., Saunders, R.E., Maile, T.M., Ciirdaeva, E., Instrell, R., Jiang, M., Howell, M., Rossner, M.J., and Tapon, N. (2013). Salt-inducible kinases regulate growth through the Hippo signalling pathway in Drosophila. Nat Cell Biol 15, 61-71.

Mao Y, Tournier AL, Bates PA, Gale JE, Tapon N, Thompson BJ. Planar polarization of the atypical myosin Dachs orients cell divisions in Drosophila. Genes Dev. 2011;25(2):131-6

Genevet A, Wehr MC, Brain R, Thompson BJ, Tapon N. Kibra is a regulator of the salvador/warts/hippo signaling network. Dev Cell. 2010;18:300-308

Ribeiro PS, Josué F, Wepf A, Wehr MC, Rinner O, Kelly G, Tapon N, Gstaiger M. Combined functional genomic and proteomic approaches identify a PP2A complex as a negative regulator of Hippo signaling. Mol Cell. 2010;39(4):521-34

Shaw RL, Kohlmaier A, Polesello C, Veelken C, Edgar BA, Tapon, N. The Hippo pathway regulates intestinal stem cell proliferation during Drosophila adult midgut regeneration. Development. 2010;137:4147-4158

Langton PF, Colombani J, Chan EH, Wepf A, Gstaiger M, Tapon N. The dASPP-dRASSF8 complex regulates cell-cell adhesion during drosophila retinal morphogenesis. Curr Biol. 2009;19:1969-1978

Nic Tapon
+44 (0)20 379 62050

  • Qualifications and history
  • 1997 PhD in Biochemistry, University College London, UK.
  • 1998 Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre, USA
  • 2003 Established lab at the London Research Institute, Cancer Research UK
  • 2015 Group Leader, the Francis Crick Institute, London, UK