NOTCH1; notch 1 (9q34.3)

Gene Summary

Gene:NOTCH1; notch 1
Aliases: hN1, TAN1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the Notch family. Members of this Type 1 transmembrane protein family share structural characteristics including an extracellular domain consisting of multiple epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats, and an intracellular domain consisting of multiple, different domain types. Notch family members play a role in a variety of developmental processes by controlling cell fate decisions. The Notch signaling network is an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway which regulates interactions between physically adjacent cells. In Drosophilia, notch interaction with its cell-bound ligands (delta, serrate) establishes an intercellular signaling pathway that plays a key role in development. Homologues of the notch-ligands have also been identified in human, but precise interactions between these ligands and the human notch homologues remain to be determined. This protein is cleaved in the trans-Golgi network, and presented on the cell surface as a heterodimer. This protein functions as a receptor for membrane bound ligands, and may play multiple roles during development. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:neurogenic locus notch homolog protein 1
Updated:18 March, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
NOTCH1 is implicated in:
- acrosomal vesicle
- aortic valve morphogenesis
- arterial endothelial cell differentiation
- astrocyte differentiation
- atrioventricular valve morphogenesis
- calcium ion binding
- cardiac atrium morphogenesis
- cardiac chamber formation
- cardiac epithelial to mesenchymal transition
- cardiac left ventricle morphogenesis
- cardiac muscle tissue morphogenesis
- cardiac right atrium morphogenesis
- cardiac septum morphogenesis
- cardiac vascular smooth muscle cell development
- cardiac ventricle morphogenesis
- cell differentiation in spinal cord
- cell migration involved in endocardial cushion formation
- cellular response to follicle-stimulating hormone stimulus
- collecting duct development
- core promoter binding
- coronary artery morphogenesis
- coronary vein morphogenesis
- determination of left/right symmetry
- distal tubule development
- endocardial cell differentiation
- endocardial cushion morphogenesis
- endocardium development
- endocardium morphogenesis
- endoplasmic reticulum membrane
- enzyme binding
- enzyme inhibitor activity
- epithelial to mesenchymal transition
- epithelial to mesenchymal transition involved in endocardial cushion formation
- extracellular region
- gene expression
- glomerular mesangial cell development
- Golgi membrane
- growth involved in heart morphogenesis
- heart development
- heart looping
- heart trabecula morphogenesis
- immune response
- integral to membrane
- MAML1-RBP-Jkappa- ICN1 complex
- mesenchymal cell development
- mitral valve formation
- negative regulation of anoikis
- negative regulation of BMP signaling pathway
- negative regulation of catalytic activity
- negative regulation of cell-substrate adhesion
- negative regulation of glial cell proliferation
- negative regulation of myoblast differentiation
- negative regulation of myotube differentiation
- negative regulation of neurogenesis
- negative regulation of neuron differentiation
- negative regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation
- negative regulation of ossification
- negative regulation of osteoblast differentiation
- negative regulation of pro-B cell differentiation
- negative regulation of stem cell differentiation
- negative regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter
- negative regulation of transcription, DNA-dependent
- neuronal stem cell maintenance
- Notch receptor processing
- Notch signaling involved in heart development
- Notch signaling pathway
- nucleoplasm
- nucleus
- oligodendrocyte differentiation
- organ regeneration
- pericardium morphogenesis
- plasma membrane
- positive regulation of astrocyte differentiation
- positive regulation of BMP signaling pathway
- positive regulation of cardiac muscle cell proliferation
- positive regulation of cell migration
- positive regulation of cell proliferation
- positive regulation of endothelial cell differentiation
- positive regulation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition
- positive regulation of JAK-STAT cascade
- positive regulation of neuroblast proliferation
- positive regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter
- positive regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter in response to hypoxia
- positive regulation of transcription of Notch receptor target
- positive regulation of transcription, DNA-dependent
- protein binding
- pulmonary valve morphogenesis
- receptor activity
- regulation of cardioblast proliferation
- regulation of extracellular matrix assembly
- regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoter involved in myocardial precursor cell differentiation
- regulation of transcription, DNA-dependent
- response to corticosteroid stimulus
- response to lipopolysaccharide
- response to muramyl dipeptide
- RNA polymerase II transcription factor binding transcription factor activity involved in positive regulation of transcription
- sequence-specific DNA binding transcription factor activity
- spermatogenesis
- tissue regeneration
- transcription initiation from RNA polymerase II promoter
- vasculogenesis involved in coronary vascular morphogenesis
- venous endothelial cell differentiation
- ventricular septum morphogenesis
- ventricular trabecula myocardium morphogenesis
Data from Gene Ontology via CGAP


What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
- Presenilin action in Notch and Wnt signaling BIOCARTA
- Proteolysis and Signaling Pathway of Notch BIOCARTA
- Segmentation Clock BIOCARTA
- Dorso-ventral axis formation KEGG
- Notch signaling pathway KEGG
Data from KEGG and BioCarta [BIOCARTA terms] via CGAP

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 18 March 2014 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 18 March, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex


NOTCH1 and Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma

Related Publications (90)

NOTCH1 and Breast Cancer

Related Publications (86)

NOTCH1 and Childhood T-Cell ALL

Related Publications (62)

NOTCH1 mutations in Head and Neck Cancers
Agrawal et al (2011) whole-exome sequencing and gene copy number analyses to study 32 primary hesd and neck squamous cell tumors and found that nearly 40% of 28 mutations identified in NOTCH1 were predicted to truncate the gene product, suggesting that NOTCH1 may function as a tumor suppressor gene rather than an oncogene in HNSCC.
Related Publications (54)

NOTCH1 and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Related Publications (52)

NOTCH1 mutations in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)
"T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematopoietic malignancy of thymocytes affecting preferentially children and adolescents. The disease is heterogeneous and characterized by a large set of chromosomal and genetic alterations that deregulate the growth of maturing thymocytes. The identification of activating point mutations in NOTCH1 in more then 50% of all T-ALL cases highlights the NOTCH1 cascade as a central player of T-ALL pathogenesis." (Koch et al, 2011)
Related Publications (39)

NOTCH1 / Notch signaling and Drug Resistance
Notch signaling and NOTCH1 expression has been implicated in drug resistance in a number of studies.
Related Publications (19)

NOTCH1 and Thyroid Cancer

Related Publications (10)

t(7;9)(q34;q34) in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia

Related Publications (7)

Related Links

Latest Publications: NOTCH1 (cancer-related)

Fogelstrand L, Staffas A, Wasslavik C, et al.
Prognostic implications of mutations in NOTCH1 and FBXW7 in childhood T-ALL treated according to the NOPHO ALL-1992 and ALL-2000 protocols.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(3):424-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In children, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) has inferior prognosis compared with B-cell precursor ALL. In order to improve survival, individualized treatment strategies and thus risk stratification algorithms are warranted, ideally already at the time of diagnosis.
PROCEDURE: We analyzed the frequency and prognostic implication of mutations in NOTCH1 and FBXW7 in 79 cases of Swedish childhood T-ALL treated according to the Nordic Society of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (NOPHO) ALL-1992 and ALL-2000 protocols. In a subgroup of patients, we also investigated the functional relevance of NOTCH1 mutations measured as expression of the HES1, MYB, and MYC genes.
RESULTS: Forty-seven of the cases (59%) displayed mutations in NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7. There was no difference in overall (P = 0.14) or event-free survival (EFS) (P = 0.10) in patients with T-ALL with mutation(s) in NOTCH1/FBXW7 compared with patients with T-ALL without mutations in any of these genes. T-ALL carrying NOTCH1 mutations had increased HES1 and MYB mRNA expression (HES1 9.2 ± 1.9 (mean ± SEM), MYB 8.7 ± 0.8 (mean ± SEM)) compared to T-ALL with wild-type NOTCH1 (HES1 1.8 ± 0.7, MYB 5.1 ± 1.2, P = 0.02 and 0.008, respectively). In cases of T-ALL with high HES1 expression, improved overall (P = 0.02) and EFS (P = 0.028) was seen.
CONCLUSIONS: Increased NOTCH activity, reflected by increased HES1 expression, is associated with improved outcome in pediatric T-ALL, but its role as a diagnostic tool or a therapeutic target in future clinical treatment protocols remains to be elucidated.

Related: FBXW7 gene

Ross JS, Wang K, Rand JV, et al.
Comprehensive genomic profiling of relapsed and metastatic adenoid cystic carcinomas by next-generation sequencing reveals potential new routes to targeted therapies.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(2):235-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
We hypothesized that next-generation sequencing could reveal actionable genomic alterations (GAs) and potentially expand treatment options for patients with advanced adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC). Genomic profiling using next-generation sequencing was performed on hybridization-captured, adapter ligation libraries derived from 28 relapsed and metastatic formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded ACC. The 3230 exons of 182 cancer-related genes and 37 introns of 14 genes frequently rearranged in cancer were fully sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2000. All classes of GAs were evaluated. Actionable GAs were defined as those impacting targeted anticancer therapies on the market or in registered clinical trials. A total of 44 GAs were identified in the 28 ACC tumors, with 12 of 28 (42.9%) of tumors harboring at least 1 potentially actionable GA. The most common nonactionable GAs were identified in KD6MA (5 cases; 18%), ARID1A (4 cases; 14%), RUNX1 (2 cases; 7%), and MYC (2 cases; 7%). Actionable GAs included NOTCH1 (3 cases; 11%), MDM2 (2 cases; 7%), PDGFRA (2 cases; 7%), and CDKN2A/B (p16) (2 cases; 7%). Other potentially actionable GAs identified in a single case included: mutations in AKT1, BAP1, EGFR, and PIK3CA, homozygous deletion of FBXW7, and amplifications of CDK4, FGFR1, IGF1R, KDR, KIT, and MCL1. The frequency of GA in ACC is lower than that seen in the more common solid tumors. Comprehensive genomic profiling of ACC can identify actionable GAs in a subset of patients that could influence therapy for these difficult-to-treat progressive neoplasms.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology

Zheng H, Wang X, Ma Y, et al.
The TCR γδ repertoire and relative gene expression characteristics of T-ALL cases with biclonal malignant Vδ1 and Vδ2 T cells.
DNA Cell Biol. 2014; 33(1):49-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Despite significant improvement in our understanding of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) biology and pathogenesis, many questions remain unanswered. In previous studies, we found a T-ALL case with two malignant T-cell clones with Vδ1Dδ2Dδ3Jδ1 and Vδ2Dδ3Jδ2 rearrangements. In this study, we further characterized T-ALL cases with two malignant clones containing Vδ1Dδ3Jδ1 and Vδ2Dδ1Jδ1 rearrangements using fine-tiling array comparative genomic hybridization, ligation-mediated polymerase chain reaction (LM-PCR), sequencing, and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis. We further analyzed the distribution and clonality of the T-cell receptor (TCR) Vγ and Vδ subfamily T cells in the two T-ALL cases by RT-PCR and GeneScan. Monoclonal Vδ1 and Vδ2 subfamilies were confirmed in both samples, the Vδ3 through Vδ7 subfamilies could not be detected in the T-ALL samples, whereas the oligoclonal Vδ8 subfamily could be identified. Based on the clinical finding that both of the T-ALL cases with two malignant T-cell clones had a poor outcome, we attempted to compare the expression pattern of genes related to T-cell activation and proliferation between cases with the malignant Vδ1 and Vδ2 T-cell clones and T-ALL cases with a mono-malignant Vα T-cell clone. We selected two T-ALL cases with VαJα rearrangements and analyzed the expression level of Notch1, TAL1, and the CARMA-BCL10-MALT-A20-NF-κB pathway genes by real-time PCR. A20 had significantly higher expression in the biclonal compared with the monoclonal T-ALL group (p=0.0354), and there was a trend toward higher expression for the other genes in the biclonal group with the exception of TAL1, although the differences were not statistically significant. In conclusion, we identified two T-ALL cases with biclonal malignant T-cell clones and described the characteristics of the biclonal T-ALL subtype and its gene expression pattern. Thus, our findings may improve the understanding of biclonal T-ALL.

Suresh S, McCallum L, Crawford LJ, et al.
The matricellular protein CCN3 regulates NOTCH1 signalling in chronic myeloid leukaemia.
J Pathol. 2013; 231(3):378-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Deregulated NOTCH1 has been reported in lymphoid leukaemia, although its role in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) is not well established. We previously reported BCR-ABL down-regulation of a novel haematopoietic regulator, CCN3, in CML; CCN3 is a non-canonical NOTCH1 ligand. This study characterizes the NOTCH1–CCN3 signalling axis in CML. In K562 cells, BCR-ABL silencing reduced full-length NOTCH1 (NOTCH1-FL) and inhibited the cleavage of NOTCH1 intracellular domain (NOTCH1-ICD), resulting in decreased expression of the NOTCH1 targets c-MYC and HES1. K562 cells stably overexpressing CCN3 (K562/CCN3) or treated with recombinant CCN3(rCCN3) showed a significant reduction in NOTCH1 signalling (> 50% reduction in NOTCH1-ICD, p < 0.05).Gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI), which blocks NOTCH1 signalling, reduced K562/CCN3 colony formation but increased that of K562/control cells. GSI combined with either rCCN3 or imatinib reduced K562 colony formation with enhanced reduction of NOTCH1 signalling observed with combination treatments. We demonstrate an oncogenic role for NOTCH1 in CML and suggest that BCR-ABL disruption of NOTCH1–CCN3 signalling contributes to the pathogenesis of CML.

Related: Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML) CML - Molecular Biology Signal Transduction Imatinib (Glivec)

Szuhai K, de Jong D, Leung WY, et al.
Transactivating mutation of the MYOD1 gene is a frequent event in adult spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma.
J Pathol. 2014; 232(3):300-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children and adolescents, being characterized by expression of genes and morphological and ultrastructural features of sarcomeric differentiation. The spindle cell variant of rhabdomyosarcoma (spindle cell RMS) in adults has been defined as an entity, separated from embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS), with unfavourable clinical outcome. So far, no recurrent genetic alteration has been identified in the adult form of spindle cell RMS. We studied a case of adult spindle cell RMS using next-generation sequencing (NGS) after exome capture. Using this approach, we identified 31 tumour-specific somatic alterations and selected four genes with predicted functional relevance to muscle differentiation and growth. MYOD1, KIF18A, NOTCH1, and EML5 were further tested for mutations using Sanger sequencing on DNA from FFPE samples from 16 additional, adult spindle cell RMS samples. The highly conserved sequence homology of MYOD1 with other myogenic transcription factors prompted us to screen the basic DNA-binding domains of MYF5, MYF6 and MYOG for mutations. From the investigated 17 samples, seven (41%) showed homozygous mutation of MYOD1, indicating a critical role in this rare subtype of adult spindle cell RMS, while no mutations were found in any of the other genes involved in myogenic differentiation. The p.L122R mutation occurs in the conserved DNA binding domain in MYOD1 and leads to transactivation and MYC-like functions. MYOD1 homozygous mutations are frequent, recurrent and pathognomonic events in adult-type spindle cell RMS.

Related: Rhabdomyosarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Court H, Amoyel M, Hackman M, et al.
Isoprenylcysteine carboxylmethyltransferase deficiency exacerbates KRAS-driven pancreatic neoplasia via Notch suppression.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(11):4681-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
RAS is the most frequently mutated oncogene in human cancers. Despite decades of effort, anti-RAS therapies have remained elusive. Isoprenylcysteine carboxylmethyltransferase (ICMT) methylates RAS and other CaaX-containing proteins, but its potential as a target for cancer therapy has not been fully evaluated. We crossed a Pdx1-Cre;LSL-KrasG12D mouse, which is a model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), with a mouse harboring a floxed allele of Icmt. Surprisingly, we found that ICMT deficiency dramatically accelerated the development and progression of neoplasia. ICMT-deficient pancreatic ductal epithelial cells had a slight growth advantage and were resistant to premature senescence by a mechanism that involved suppression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (p16INK4A) expression. ICMT deficiency precisely phenocopied Notch1 deficiency in the Pdx1-Cre;LSL-KrasG12D model by exacerbating pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias, promoting facial papillomas, and derepressing Wnt signaling. Silencing ICMT in human osteosarcoma cells decreased Notch1 signaling in response to stimulation with cell-surface ligands. Additionally, targeted silencing of Ste14, the Drosophila homolog of Icmt, resulted in defects in wing development, consistent with Notch loss of function. Our data suggest that ICMT behaves like a tumor suppressor in PDA because it is required for Notch1 signaling.

Related: Cancer of the Pancreas Pancreatic Cancer Signal Transduction

Trinquand A, Tanguy-Schmidt A, Ben Abdelali R, et al.
Toward a NOTCH1/FBXW7/RAS/PTEN-based oncogenetic risk classification of adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a Group for Research in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia study.
J Clin Oncol. 2013; 31(34):4333-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The Group for Research in Adult Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (GRAALL) recently reported a significantly better outcome in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) harboring NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7 (N/F) mutations compared with unmutated T-ALL. Despite this, one third of patients with N/F-mutated T-ALL experienced relapse.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In a series of 212 adult T-ALLs included in the multicenter randomized GRAALL-2003 and -2005 trials, we searched for additional N/K-RAS mutations and PTEN defects (mutations and gene deletion).
RESULTS: N/F mutations were identified in 143 (67%) of 212 patients, and lack of N/F mutation was confirmed to be associated with a poor prognosis. K-RAS, N-RAS, and PTEN mutations/deletions were identified in three (1.6%) of 191, 17 (8.9%) of 191, and 21 (12%) of 175 patients, respectively. The favorable prognostic significance of N/F mutations was restricted to patients without RAS/PTEN abnormalities. These observations led us to propose a new T-ALL oncogenetic classifier defining low-risk patients as those with N/F mutation but no RAS/PTEN mutation (97 of 189 patients; 51%) and all other patients (49%; including 13% with N/F and RAS/PTEN mutations) as high-risk patients. In multivariable analysis, this oncogenetic classifier remained the only significant prognostic covariate (event-free survival: hazard ratio [HR], 3.2; 95% CI, 1.9 to 5.15; P < .001; and overall survival: HR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.9 to 5.6; P < .001).
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate that the presence of N/F mutations in the absence of RAS or PTEN abnormalities predicts good outcome in almost 50% of adult T-ALL. Conversely, the absence of N/F or presence of RAS/PTEN alterations identifies the remaining cohort of patients with poor prognosis.

Related: PTEN KRAS gene NRAS gene FBXW7 gene

Beà S, Valdés-Mas R, Navarro A, et al.
Landscape of somatic mutations and clonal evolution in mantle cell lymphoma.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013; 110(45):18250-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is an aggressive tumor, but a subset of patients may follow an indolent clinical course. To understand the mechanisms underlying this biological heterogeneity, we performed whole-genome and/or whole-exome sequencing on 29 MCL cases and their respective matched normal DNA, as well as 6 MCL cell lines. Recurrently mutated genes were investigated by targeted sequencing in an independent cohort of 172 MCL patients. We identified 25 significantly mutated genes, including known drivers such as ataxia-telangectasia mutated (ATM), cyclin D1 (CCND1), and the tumor suppressor TP53; mutated genes encoding the anti-apoptotic protein BIRC3 and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2); and the chromatin modifiers WHSC1, MLL2, and MEF2B. We also found NOTCH2 mutations as an alternative phenomenon to NOTCH1 mutations in aggressive tumors with a dismal prognosis. Analysis of two simultaneous or subsequent MCL samples by whole-genome/whole-exome (n = 8) or targeted (n = 19) sequencing revealed subclonal heterogeneity at diagnosis in samples from different topographic sites and modulation of the initial mutational profile at the progression of the disease. Some mutations were predominantly clonal or subclonal, indicating an early or late event in tumor evolution, respectively. Our study identifies molecular mechanisms contributing to MCL pathogenesis and offers potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

Related: Mantle Cell Lymphoma BCL1 Gene (CCND1)

Clay MR, Varma S, West RB
MAST2 and NOTCH1 translocations in breast carcinoma and associated pre-invasive lesions.
Hum Pathol. 2013; 44(12):2837-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
There are several mutations and structural variations common to breast cancer. Many of these genomic changes are thought to represent driver mutations in oncogenesis. Less well understood is how and when these changes take place in breast cancer development. Previous studies have identified gene rearrangements in the microtubule-associated serine-threonine kinase (MAST) and NOTCH gene families in 5% to 7% of invasive breast cancers. Some of these translocations can be detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) allowing for examination of the correlation between these genomic changes and concurrent morphologic changes in early breast neoplasia. NOTCH and MAST gene rearrangements were identified by FISH in a large series of breast cancer cases organized on tissue microarrays (TMA). When translocations were identified by TMA, we performed full cross-section FISH to evaluate concurrent pre-invasive lesions. FISH break-apart assays were designed for NOTCH1 and MAST2 gene rearrangements. Translocations were identified in 16 cases of invasive carcinoma; 10 with MAST2 translocations (2.0%) and 6 cases with NOTCH1 translocations (1.2%). Whole section FISH analysis of these cases demonstrated that the translocations are present in the majority of concurrent ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (6/8). When DCIS wasn't associated with an invasive component, it was never translocated (0/170, P=.0048). We have confirmed the presence of MAST and NOTCH family gene rearrangements in invasive breast carcinoma, and show that FISH studies can effectively be used with TMAs to screen normal, pre-invasive, and coexisting invasive disease. Our findings suggest that these translocations occur during the transition to DCIS and/or invasive carcinoma.

Related: Breast Cancer FISH

Suman S, Das TP, Damodaran C
Silencing NOTCH signaling causes growth arrest in both breast cancer stem cells and breast cancer cells.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(10):2587-96 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/11/2014 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs) are characterized by high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) enzyme activity and are refractory to current treatment modalities, show a higher risk for metastasis, and influence the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), leading to a shorter time to recurrence and death. In this study, we focused on examination of the mechanism of action of a small herbal molecule, psoralidin (Pso) that has been shown to effectively suppress the growth of BSCSs and breast cancer cells (BCCs), in breast cancer (BC) models.
METHODS: ALDH(-) and ALDH(+) BCCs were isolated from MDA-MB-231 cells, and the anticancer effects of Pso were measured using cell viability, apoptosis, colony formation, invasion, migration, mammosphere formation, immunofluorescence, and western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Psoralidin significantly downregulated NOTCH1 signaling, and this downregulation resulted in growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis in both ALDH(-) and ALDH(+) cells. Molecularly, Pso inhibited NOTCH1 signaling, which facilitated inhibition of EMT markers (β-catenin and vimentin) and upregulated E-cadherin expression, resulting in reduced migration and invasion of both ALDH(-) and ALDH(+) cells.
CONCLUSION: Together, our results suggest that inhibition of NOTCH1 by Pso resulted in growth arrest and inhibition of EMT in BCSCs and BCCs. Psoralidin appears to be a novel agent that targets both BCSCs and BCCs.

Related: Breast Cancer Signal Transduction

Fabbri G, Khiabanian H, Holmes AB, et al.
Genetic lesions associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia transformation to Richter syndrome.
J Exp Med. 2013; 210(11):2273-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/04/2014 Related Publications
Richter syndrome (RS) derives from the rare transformation of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) into an aggressive lymphoma, most commonly of the diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) type. The molecular pathogenesis of RS is only partially understood. By combining whole-exome sequencing and copy-number analysis of 9 CLL-RS pairs and of an extended panel of 43 RS cases, we show that this aggressive disease typically arises from the predominant CLL clone by acquiring an average of ∼20 genetic lesions/case. RS lesions are heterogeneous in terms of load and spectrum among patients, and include those involved in CLL progression and chemorefractoriness (TP53 disruption and NOTCH1 activation) as well as some not previously implicated in CLL or RS pathogenesis. In particular, disruption of the CDKN2A/B cell cycle regulator is associated with ∼30% of RS cases. Finally, we report that the genomic landscape of RS is significantly different from that of de novo DLBCL, suggesting that they represent distinct disease entities. These results provide insights into RS pathogenesis, and identify dysregulated pathways of potential diagnostic and therapeutic relevance.

Related: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology TP53

Okuhashi Y, Itoh M, Nara N, Tohda S
NOTCH knockdown affects the proliferation and mTOR signaling of leukemia cells.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(10):4293-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The effects of small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 on cell proliferation and downstream signaling pathways in leukemia cells were examined.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two T-lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines and two acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) cell lines were transfected with siRNAs targeting NOTCH1 and NOTCH2. The effects of knockdown on cell proliferation and protein expression were examined by colorimetric WST-8 assay and immunoblotting, respectively.
RESULTS: In T-ALL cell lines, NOTCH1 knockdown as well as NOTCH2 knockdown suppressed cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. v-Myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC) protein expression was down-regulated in NOTCH1-knockdown cells but not affected in NOTCH2-knockdown cells. In AML cell lines, cell proliferation was not significantly affected by NOTCH siRNAs. NOTCH2 knockdown increased the level of cleaved NOTCH1 fragment without increasing NOTCH1 expression. NOTCH knockdown reduced the level of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) protein in the monoblastic leukemia cell line THP-1. Contrastingly, NOTCH activation by NOTCH ligand stimulation increased the expression of mTOR in THP-1 cells.
CONCLUSION: These novel findings on NOTCH signaling may contribute to the development of effective NOTCH-targeted therapies against leukemia.

Related: Leukemia Signal Transduction

Jeromin S, Weissmann S, Haferlach C, et al.
SF3B1 mutations correlated to cytogenetics and mutations in NOTCH1, FBXW7, MYD88, XPO1 and TP53 in 1160 untreated CLL patients.
Leukemia. 2014; 28(1):108-17 [PubMed] Related Publications
We analyzed a large cohort of 1160 untreated CLL patients for novel genetic markers (SF3B1, NOTCH1, FBXW7, MYD88, XPO1) in the context of molecular, immunophenotypic and cytogenetic data. NOTCH1 mutations (mut) (12.3%), SF3B1mut (9.0%) and TP53mut (7.1%) were more frequent than XPO1mut (3.4%), FBXW7mut (2.5%) and MYD88mut (1.5%). SF3B1mut, NOTCH1mut, TP53mut and XPO1mut were highly correlated to unmutated, whereas MYD88mut were associated with mutated IGHV status. Associations of diverse cytogenetic aberrations and mutations emerged: (1) SF3B1mut with del(11q), (2) NOTCH1mut and FBXW7mut with trisomy 12 and nearly exclusiveness of SF3B1mut, (3) MYD88mut with del(13q) sole and low frequencies of SF3B1mut, NOTCH1mut and FBXW7mut. In patients with normal karyotype only SF3B1mut were frequent, whereas NOTCH1mut rarely occurred. An adverse prognostic impact on time to treatment (TTT) and overall survival (OS) was observed for SF3B1mut, NOTCH1mut and TP53 disruption. In multivariate analyses SF3B1mut, IGHV mutational status and del(11q) were the only independent genetic markers for TTT, whereas for OS SF3B1mut, IGHV mutational status and TP53 disruption presented with significant impact. Finally, our data suggest that analysis of gene mutations refines the risk stratification of cytogenetic prognostic subgroups and confirms data of a recently proposed model integrating molecular and cytogenetic data.

Related: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology FBXW7 gene

Zhou W, Fu XQ, Zhang LL, et al.
The AKT1/NF-kappaB/Notch1/PTEN axis has an important role in chemoresistance of gastric cancer cells.
Cell Death Dis. 2013; 4:e847 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/04/2014 Related Publications
The inherent resistance of tumors to DNA damage often limits the efficacy of chemotherapy. The aim of this work is to explore the potential mechanism for development of chemoresistance in gastric cancer. Our data revealed that AKT1 mRNA and protein expression were induced by doxorubicin (a chemotherapeutic agent); the doxorubicin-induced AKT1 expression and activation increased the binding of NF-kappaB on Notch1 DNA promoter and then promoted the Notch1 transcription and expression; enhanced expression of Notch1 further upregulated PTEN expression through CBF-1 binding to PTEN DNA promoter; and inhibition of AKT1 expression and activity sensitized the gastric cancer cell to doxorubicin treatment in cultured gastric cancer cell lines and xenograft nude mice gastric cancer model. Furthermore, our data demonstrated that both Notch1 and PTEN were absent or minimally expressed in gastric cancer tissue but abundant in paired normal gastric mucosa, and the expression of Notch1 correlated with that of PTEN. Together, these novel results suggested that a novel AKT1/NF-kappaB/Notch1/PTEN axis has an important role in the development of chemoresistance in gastric cancer. Notch1 has an anti-cancer role in gastric cancer.

Related: Apoptosis Doxorubicin PTEN AKT1 Signal Transduction Stomach Cancer Gastric Cancer

Mullighan CG
Genome sequencing of lymphoid malignancies.
Blood. 2013; 122(24):3899-907 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our understanding of the pathogenesis of lymphoid malignancies has been transformed by next-generation sequencing. The studies in this review have used whole-genome, exome, and transcriptome sequencing to identify recurring structural genetic alterations and sequence mutations that target key cellular pathways in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the lymphomas. Although each tumor type is characterized by a unique genomic landscape, several cellular pathways are mutated in multiple tumor types-transcriptional regulation of differentiation, antigen receptor signaling, tyrosine kinase and Ras signaling, and epigenetic modifications-and individual genes are mutated in multiple tumors, notably TCF3, NOTCH1, MYD88, and BRAF. In addition to providing fundamental insights into tumorigenesis, these studies have also identified potential new markers for diagnosis, risk stratification, and therapeutic intervention. Several genetic alterations are intuitively "druggable" with existing agents, for example, kinase-activating lesions in high-risk B-cell ALL, NOTCH1 in both leukemia and lymphoma, and BRAF in hairy cell leukemia. Future sequencing efforts are required to comprehensively define the genetic basis of all lymphoid malignancies, examine the relative roles of germline and somatic variation, dissect the genetic basis of clonal heterogeneity, and chart a course for clinical sequencing and translation to improved therapeutic outcomes.

Related: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Martínez-Trillos A, Quesada V, Villamor N, et al.
Recurrent gene mutations in CLL.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2013; 792:87-107 [PubMed] Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing of whole genomes and exomes in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has provided the first comprehensive view of somatic mutations in this disease. Subsequent studies have characterized the oncogenic pathways and clinical implications of a number of these mutations. The global number of somatic mutations per case is lower than those described in solid tumors but is in agreement with previous estimates of less than one mutation per megabase in hematological neoplasms. The number and pattern of somatic mutations differ in tumors with unmutated and mutated IGHV, extending at the genomic level the clinical differences observed in these two CLL subtypes. One of the striking conclusions of these studies has been the marked genetic heterogeneity of the disease, with a relatively large number of genes recurrently mutated at low frequency and only a few genes mutated in up to 10-15 % of the patients. The mutated genes tend to cluster in different pathways that include NOTCH1 signaling, RNA splicing and processing machinery, innate inflammatory response, Wnt signaling, and DNA damage and cell cycle control, among others. These results highlight the molecular heterogeneity of CLL and may provide new biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for the diagnosis and management of the disease.

Related: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology

Poos K, Smida J, Nathrath M, et al.
How microRNA and transcription factor co-regulatory networks affect osteosarcoma cell proliferation.
PLoS Comput Biol. 2013; 9(8):e1003210 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 21/04/2014 Related Publications
Osteosarcomas (OS) are complex bone tumors with various genomic alterations. These alterations affect the expression and function of several genes due to drastic changes in the underlying gene regulatory network. However, we know little about critical gene regulators and their functional consequences on the pathogenesis of OS. Therefore, we aimed to determine microRNA and transcription factor (TF) co-regulatory networks in OS cell proliferation. Cell proliferation is an essential part in the pathogenesis of OS and deeper understanding of its regulation might help to identify potential therapeutic targets. Based on expression data of OS cell lines divided according to their proliferative activity, we obtained 12 proliferation-related microRNAs and corresponding target genes. Therewith, microRNA and TF co-regulatory networks were generated and analyzed regarding their structure and functional influence. We identified key co-regulators comprising the microRNAs miR-9-5p, miR-138, and miR-214 and the TFs SP1 and MYC in the derived networks. These regulators are implicated in NFKB- and RB1-signaling and focal adhesion processes based on their common or interacting target genes (e.g., CDK6, CTNNB1, E2F4, HES1, ITGA6, NFKB1, NOTCH1, and SIN3A). Thus, we proposed a model of OS cell proliferation which is primarily co-regulated through the interactions of the mentioned microRNA and TF combinations. This study illustrates the benefit of systems biological approaches in the analysis of complex diseases. We integrated experimental data with publicly available information to unravel the coordinated (post)-transcriptional control of microRNAs and TFs to identify potential therapeutic targets in OS. The resulting microRNA and TF co-regulatory networks are publicly available for further exploration to generate or evaluate own hypotheses of the pathogenesis of OS (http://www.complex-systems.uni-muenster.de/co_networks.html).

Related: Bone Cancers Osteosarcoma

Wu CP, Zhou L, Gong HL, et al.
Establishment and characterization of a novel HPV-negative laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma cell line, FD-LSC-1, with missense and nonsense mutations of TP53 in the DNA-binding domain.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 342(1):92-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) is a common malignancy in China; however, publically available LSCC cell lines are few and not established from Chinese populations. Hence, novel and well-characterized LSCC cell lines of Chinese origin are urgently needed to provide researchers with a comprehensive database for LSCC research. From 40 cases of LSCC, we established a novel cell line that was maintained for more than 100 passages in vitro and was found to have typical epithelial morphology and ultrastructure. In-depth characterization analysis revealed polyploidy in DNA content; a doubling time of some 24h; high tumorigenicity in immunodeficient mice; higher invasive potential and more sensitive to radiation and cisplatin compared with HeLa cell line; upregulated Ki67, Notch1, EGFR, and CK5 protein levels; negative infection of human papillomavirus (HPV) and mycoplasma; expression of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) biomarkers; mutations of TP53 in exons 5 and 8; a near-triploid karyotype with complex structural aberrations; and dozens of dysregulated genes and miRNAs. Cell authentication testing by the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) confirmed the human origin of this cell line. Our findings indicate that a novel and well-differentiated LSCC cell line recapitulating the primary tumor's malignant characteristics is established and well characterized. It does not match any cell lines within the ATCC database and helps to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of LSCC.

Related: Cisplatin Cancer of the Larynx Laryngeal Cancer - Molecular Biology TP53

Mosquera JM, Sboner A, Zhang L, et al.
Novel MIR143-NOTCH fusions in benign and malignant glomus tumors.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(11):1075-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/11/2014 Related Publications
Glomus tumors (GT) have been classified among tumors of perivascular smooth muscle differentiation, together with myopericytoma, myofibroma/tosis, and angioleiomyoma, based on their morphologic overlap. However, no molecular studies have been carried out to date to investigate their genetic phenotype and to confirm their shared pathogenesis. RNA sequencing was performed in three index cases (GT1, malignant GT; GT2, benign GT and M1, multifocal myopericytoma), followed by FusionSeq data analysis, a modular computational tool developed to discover gene fusions from paired-end RNA-seq data. A gene fusion involving MIR143 in band 5q32 was identified in both GTs with either NOTCH2 in 1p13 in GT1 or NOTCH1 in 9q34 in GT2, but none in M1. After being validated by FISH and RT-PCR, these abnormalities were screened on 33 GTs, 6 myopericytomas, 9 myofibroma/toses, 18 angioleiomyomas and in a control group of 5 sino-nasal hemangiopericytomas. Overall NOTCH2 gene rearrangements were identified in 52% of GT, including all malignant cases and one NF1-related GT. No additional cases showed NOTCH1 rearrangement. As NOTCH3 shares similar functions with NOTCH2 in regulating vascular smooth muscle development, the study group was also investigated for abnormalities in this gene by FISH. Indeed, NOTCH3 rearrangements were identified in 9% of GTs, all present in benign soft tissue GT, one case being fused to MIR143. Only 1/18 angioleiomyomas showed NOTCH2 gene rearrangement, while all the myopericytomas and myofibroma/toses were negative. In summary, we describe novel NOTCH1-3 rearrangements in benign and malignant, visceral, and soft tissue GTs.

Katzerke C, Madan V, Gerloff D, et al.
Transcription factor C/EBPα-induced microRNA-30c inactivates Notch1 during granulopoiesis and is downregulated in acute myeloid leukemia.
Blood. 2013; 122(14):2433-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/10/2014 Related Publications
The transcription factor CCAAT enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) is a master regulator in granulopoiesis and is frequently disrupted in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We have previously shown that C/EBPα exerts its effects by regulating microRNAs (miRs) such as miR-223 and miR-34a. Here, we confirm miR-30c as a novel important target of C/EBPα during granulopoiesis. Thus, wild-type C/EBPα-p42 directly upregulates miR-30c expression, whereas C/EBPα-p30, found in AML, does not. miR-30c is downregulated in AML, especially in normal karyotype AML patients with CEBPA mutations. An induced C/EBPα knockout in mice leads to a significant downregulation of miR-30c expression in bone marrow cells. We identified NOTCH1 as a direct target of miR-30c. Finally, a block of miR-30c prevents C/EBPα-induced downregulation of Notch1 protein and leads to a reduced CD11b expression in myeloid differentiation. Our study presents the first evidence that C/EBPα, miR-30c, and Notch1 together play a critical role in granulocytic differentiation and AML, and particularly in AML with CEBPA mutations. These data reveal the importance of deregulated miRNA expression in leukemia and may provide novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets in AML.

Related: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Perez-Garcia A, Ambesi-Impiombato A, Hadler M, et al.
Genetic loss of SH2B3 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2013; 122(14):2425-32 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 03/10/2014 Related Publications
The SH2B adaptor protein 3 (SH2B3) gene encodes a negative regulator of cytokine signaling with a critical role in the homeostasis of hematopoietic stem cells and lymphoid progenitors. Here, we report the identification of germline homozygous SH2B3 mutations in 2 siblings affected with developmental delay and autoimmunity, one in whom B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) developed. Mechanistically, loss of SH2B3 increases Janus kinase-signal transducer and activator of transcription signaling, promotes lymphoid cell proliferation, and accelerates leukemia development in a mouse model of NOTCH1-induced ALL. Moreover, extended mutation analysis showed homozygous somatic mutations in SH2B3 in 2 of 167 ALLs analyzed. Overall, these results demonstrate a Knudson tumor suppressor role for SH2B3 in the pathogenesis of ALL and highlight a possible link between genetic predisposition factors in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity and leukemogenesis.

Related: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) Childhood Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) ALL - Molecular Biology

Kang J, Kim E, Kim W, et al.
Rhamnetin and cirsiliol induce radiosensitization and inhibition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by miR-34a-mediated suppression of Notch-1 expression in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(38):27343-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/09/2014 Related Publications
Radioresistance is a major cause of decreasing the efficiency of radiotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To understand the radioresistance mechanisms in NSCLC, we focused on the radiation-induced Notch-1 signaling pathway involved in critical cell fate decisions by modulating cell proliferation. In this study, we investigated the use of Notch-1-regulating flavonoid compounds as novel therapeutic drugs to regulate radiosensitivity in NSCLC cells, NCI-H1299 and NCI-H460, with different levels of radioresistance. Rhamnetin and cirsiliol were selected as candidate Notch-1-regulating radiosensitizers based on the results of assay screening for activity and pharmacological properties. Treatment with rhamnetin or cirsiliol reduced the proliferation of NSCLC cells through the suppression of radiation-induced Notch-1 expression. Indeed, rhamnetin and cirsiliol increased the expression of tumor-suppressive microRNA, miR-34a, in a p53-dependent manner, leading to inhibition of Notch-1 expression. Consequently, reduced Notch-1 expression promoted apoptosis through significant down-regulation of the nuclear factor-κB pathway, resulting in a radiosensitizing effect on NSCLC cells. Irradiation-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition was also notably attenuated in the presence of rhamnetin and cirsiliol. Moreover, an in vivo xenograft mouse model confirmed the radiosensitizing and epithelial-mesenchymal transition inhibition effects of rhamnetin and cirsiliol we observed in vitro. In these mice, tumor volume was significantly reduced by combinational treatment with irradiation and rhamnetin or cirsiliol compared with irradiation alone. Taken together, our findings provided evidence that rhamnetin and cirsiliol can act as promising radiosensitizers that enhance the radiotherapeutic efficacy by inhibiting radiation-induced Notch-1 signaling associated with radioresistance possibly via miR-34a-mediated pathways.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer TP53

Yonekura S, Itoh M, Okuhashi Y, et al.
Effects of the HIF1 inhibitor, echinomycin, on growth and NOTCH signalling in leukaemia cells.
Anticancer Res. 2013; 33(8):3099-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Aim: To examine the effects of echinomycin, a compound that inhibits DNA-binding activity of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF1), on leukaemia cell growth.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Three acute myeloid leukaemia cell lines and three T-lymphoblastic leukaemia cell lines were cultured with echinomycin. Cell growth, mRNA and protein expression levels were examined by WST-1 assay, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting, respectively.
RESULTS: HIF1α protein was expressed in all cell lines under normoxia. Treatment with echinomycin suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis in association with decreased mRNA expression of HIF1 targets, glucose transporter-1 (GLUT1) and B-cell CLL/lymphoma-2 (BCL2). Echinomycin also suppressed the protein expression of NOTCH1, cleaved NOTCH1, v-myc myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC), v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog-1 (AKT), phosphorylated AKT, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and phosphorylated mTOR and increased that of cleaved caspase-3 in some cell lines.
CONCLUSION: Echinomycin suppresses leukaemia cell growth in association with reduced NOTCH1 expression. This is the first report to show that HIF inhibitor treatment suppresses NOTCH1 signalling. HIF inhibitors could be novel candidates for a molecular-targeted therapy against leukaemia.

Related: Apoptosis Leukemia Signal Transduction VHL

López C, Delgado J, Costa D, et al.
Clonal evolution in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: analysis of correlations with IGHV mutational status, NOTCH1 mutations and clinical significance.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(10):920-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a lymphoproliferative disorder characterized with highly variable clinical course. The most common chromosomal abnormalities in CLL, using conventional and molecular cytogenetics, are trisomy 12, del(13)(q14), del(11)(q22-23), del(17)(p13), and del(6)(q21). Whereas the prognostic marker such as IGHV mutational status remains stable during course of the diseases, chromosomal aberrations may be acquired over time. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, and biological significance of clonal evolution (CE) using conventional and molecular cytogenetics and its relationship with prognostic markers such as CD38, ZAP70, and the mutational status of IGHV and NOTCH1. One hundred and forty-three untreated CLL patients were included in the study. The median time interval between analyses was 32 months (range 6-156 months). Forty-seven patients (33%) had CE as evidenced by detection of new cytogenetic abnormalities during follow-up. CE was not correlated with high expression of ZAP70, unmutated IGHV genes or NOTCH1 mutations. Multivariate analysis revealed that CE and IGHV mutation status had a significant impact on TFS. The combination of conventional and molecular cytogenetics increased the detection of CE, this phenomenon probably being a reflection of genomic instability and conferring a more aggressive clinical course.

Related: FISH Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology

Hong KJ, Wu DC, Cheng KH, et al.
RECK inhibits stemness gene expression and tumorigenicity of gastric cancer cells by suppressing ADAM-mediated Notch1 activation.
J Cell Physiol. 2014; 229(2):191-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Reversion-inducing Cysteine-rich Protein with Kazal Motifs (RECK) gene encodes a membrane-anchored glycoprotein that exhibits strong inhibitory activity against various matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10). RECK functions as a tumor suppressor by inhibiting migration, invasion, and angiogenesis. However, whether RECK can modulate the stem-like phenotypes of cancer cells is not known. In this study, we demonstrate that RECK is down-regulated in gastric cancer cells and is further reduced in CD133-positive cancer stem-like cells. Ectopic expression of RECK induces down-regulation of the expression of stemness genes including Sox2, Oct4, and Nanog and the cancer stem cell marker CD133. Treatment of DAPT (a γ-secretase inhibitor) or TAPI-2 (a hydroxamate-based inhibitor of MMPs, tumor necrosis factor α converting enzyme and ADAM17) reduces Notch1 shedding and activation which results in attenuation of stemness genes and CD133. Our data show that ADAM10 and ADAM17 are co-pulled down by RECK suggesting a physical interaction between RECK and ADAMs on cell surface. In addition, RECK suppresses sphere formation and sphere size of CD133-positive gastric cancer cells. Overexpression of Notch intracellular domain (NICD) or ADAM17 effectively reverse the inhibitory effect of RECK in CD133-positive cells. More importantly, RECK reduces tumorigenic activity of CD133-positive cells in vivo. Conversely, knockdown of RECK in non-tumorigenic GI2 cells increases stemness and CD133 expression and sphere forming ability. Collectively, these results indicate that RECK represses stemness gene expression and stem-like properties by inhibiting ADAM-mediated Notch1 shedding and activation.

Related: Signal Transduction Stomach Cancer Gastric Cancer

Rouhigharabaei L, Ferreiro JF, Put N, et al.
BMI1, the polycomb-group gene, is recurrently targeted by genomic rearrangements in progressive B-cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2013; 52(10):928-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BMI1, a Polycomb-group gene located at 10p12.2, is implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of tumors. However, the genetic molecular mechanisms underlying its aberrant expression in cancer cells remain largely unknown. In this study, we show that BMI1 is recurrently targeted by chromosomal aberrations in B-cell leukemia/lymphoma. We identified a novel t(10;14)(p12;q32)/IGH-BMI1 rearrangement and its IGL variant in six cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and found that these aberrations were consistently acquired at time of disease progression and high grade transformation of leukemia (Richter syndrome). The IG-BMI1 translocations were not associated with any particular molecular subtype of CLL and the leukemias were negative for common mutations of NOTCH1 and TP53, known to increase a risk of progression and transformation in CLL. In addition, using FISH and SNP array analysis, we identified a wide range of BMI1-involving 10p12 lesions in 17 cases of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). These aberrations included various balanced and unbalanced structural abnormalities and very frequently but not exclusively, were associated with gain of the BMI1 locus and loss of the 10p terminal sequences. These findings point to genomic instability at the 10p region in MCL which likely promotes rearrangements and deregulation of BMI1. Our findings are in line with previously published observations correlating overexpression of BMI1 with tumor progression and chemoresistance. In summary, our study provides new insights into genetic molecular mechanisms underlying aberrant expression of BMI1 in lymphoma and documents its contribution in the pathogenesis of Richter syndrome and MCL.

Related: FISH Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology BCL1 Gene (CCND1)

Buckley NE, Nic An tSaoir CB, Blayney JK, et al.
BRCA1 is a key regulator of breast differentiation through activation of Notch signalling with implications for anti-endocrine treatment of breast cancers.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2013; 41(18):8601-14 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/09/2014 Related Publications
Here, we show for the first time, that the familial breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 activates the Notch pathway in breast cells by transcriptional upregulation of Notch ligands and receptors in both normal and cancer cells. We demonstrate through chromatin immunoprecipitation assays that BRCA1 is localized to a conserved intronic enhancer region within the Notch ligand Jagged-1 (JAG1) gene, an event requiring ΔNp63. We propose that this BRCA1/ΔNp63-mediated induction of JAG1 may be important the regulation of breast stem/precursor cells, as knockdown of all three proteins resulted in increased tumoursphere growth and increased activity of stem cell markers such as Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1). Knockdown of Notch1 and JAG1 phenocopied BRCA1 knockdown resulting in the loss of Estrogen Receptor-α (ER-α) expression and other luminal markers. A Notch mimetic peptide could activate an ER-α promoter reporter in a BRCA1-dependent manner, whereas Notch inhibition using a γ-secretase inhibitor reversed this process. We demonstrate that inhibition of Notch signalling resulted in decreased sensitivity to the anti-estrogen drug Tamoxifen but increased expression of markers associated with basal-like breast cancer. Together, these findings suggest that BRCA1 transcriptional upregulation of Notch signalling is a key event in the normal differentiation process in breast tissue.

Related: Breast Cancer Signal Transduction

Lefort K, Brooks Y, Ostano P, et al.
A miR-34a-SIRT6 axis in the squamous cell differentiation network.
EMBO J. 2013; 32(16):2248-63 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/08/2014 Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are highly heterogeneous tumours, resulting from deranged expression of genes involved in squamous cell differentiation. Here we report that microRNA-34a (miR-34a) functions as a novel node in the squamous cell differentiation network, with SIRT6 as a critical target. miR-34a expression increases with keratinocyte differentiation, while it is suppressed in skin and oral SCCs, SCC cell lines, and aberrantly differentiating primary human keratinocytes (HKCs). Expression of this miRNA is restored in SCC cells, in parallel with differentiation, by reversion of genomic DNA methylation or wild-type p53 expression. In normal HKCs, the pro-differentiation effects of increased p53 activity or UVB exposure are miR-34a-dependent, and increased miR-34a levels are sufficient to induce differentiation of these cells both in vitro and in vivo. SIRT6, a sirtuin family member not previously connected with miR-34a function, is a direct target of this miRNA in HKCs, and SIRT6 down-modulation is sufficient to reproduce the miR-34a pro-differentiation effects. The findings are of likely biological significance, as SIRT6 is oppositely expressed to miR-34a in normal keratinocytes and keratinocyte-derived tumours.

Related: TP53

Mansour MR, Sanda T, Lawton LN, et al.
The TAL1 complex targets the FBXW7 tumor suppressor by activating miR-223 in human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Exp Med. 2013; 210(8):1545-57 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/08/2014 Related Publications
The oncogenic transcription factor TAL1/SCL is aberrantly expressed in 60% of cases of human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and initiates T-ALL in mouse models. By performing global microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling after depletion of TAL1, together with genome-wide analysis of TAL1 occupancy by chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to massively parallel DNA sequencing, we identified the miRNA genes directly controlled by TAL1 and its regulatory partners HEB, E2A, LMO1/2, GATA3, and RUNX1. The most dynamically regulated miRNA was miR-223, which is bound at its promoter and up-regulated by the TAL1 complex. miR-223 expression mirrors TAL1 levels during thymic development, with high expression in early thymocytes and marked down-regulation after the double-negative-2 stage of maturation. We demonstrate that aberrant miR-223 up-regulation by TAL1 is important for optimal growth of TAL1-positive T-ALL cells and that sustained expression of miR-223 partially rescues T-ALL cells after TAL1 knockdown. Overexpression of miR-223 also leads to marked down-regulation of FBXW7 protein expression, whereas knockdown of TAL1 leads to up-regulation of FBXW7 protein levels, with a marked reduction of its substrates MYC, MYB, NOTCH1, and CYCLIN E. We conclude that TAL1-mediated up-regulation of miR-223 promotes the malignant phenotype in T-ALL through repression of the FBXW7 tumor suppressor.

Related: Apoptosis FBXW7 gene

Natarajan S, Li Y, Miller EE, et al.
Notch1-induced brain tumor models the sonic hedgehog subgroup of human medulloblastoma.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(17):5381-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/08/2014 Related Publications
While activation of the Notch pathway is observed in many human cancers, it is unknown whether elevated Notch1 expression is sufficient to initiate tumorigenesis in most tissues. To test the oncogenic potential of Notch1 in solid tumors, we expressed an activated form of Notch1 (N1ICD) in the developing mouse brain. N1ICD;hGFAP-cre mice were viable but developed severe ataxia and seizures, and died by weaning age. Analysis of transgenic embryo brains revealed that N1ICD expression induced p53-dependent apoptosis. When apoptosis was blocked by genetic deletion of p53, 30% to 40% of N1ICD;GFAP-cre;p53(+/-) and N1ICD;GFAP-cre;p53(-/-) mice developed spontaneous medulloblastomas. Interestingly, N1ICD-induced medulloblastomas most closely resembled the sonic hedgehog subgroup of human medulloblastoma at the molecular level. Surprisingly, N1ICD-induced tumors do not maintain high levels of the Notch pathway gene expression, except for Notch2, showing that initiating oncogenic events may not be decipherable by analyzing growing tumors in some cases. In summary, this study shows that Notch1 has an oncogenic potential in the brain when combined with other oncogenic hits, such as p53 loss, and provides a novel mouse model of medulloblastoma. Cancer Res; 73(17); 5381-90. ©2013 AACR.

Related: Apoptosis Childhood Medulloblastoma / PNET

Koch U, Radtke F
Notch in T-ALL: new players in a complex disease.
Trends Immunol. 2011; 32(9):434-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematopoietic malignancy of thymocytes affecting preferentially children and adolescents. The disease is heterogeneous and characterized by a large set of chromosomal and genetic alterations that deregulate the growth of maturing thymocytes. The identification of activating point mutations in NOTCH1 in more then 50% of all T-ALL cases highlights the NOTCH1 cascade as a central player of T-ALL pathogenesis. In this review, we summarize and update more recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of T-ALL with a particular emphasis on the oncogenic properties of aberrant NOTCH1 signaling.

Related: Signal Transduction

Agrawal N, Frederick MJ, Pickering CR, et al.
Exome sequencing of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma reveals inactivating mutations in NOTCH1.
Science. 2011; 333(6046):1154-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/08/2014 Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. To explore the genetic origins of this cancer, we used whole-exome sequencing and gene copy number analyses to study 32 primary tumors. Tumors from patients with a history of tobacco use had more mutations than did tumors from patients who did not use tobacco, and tumors that were negative for human papillomavirus (HPV) had more mutations than did HPV-positive tumors. Six of the genes that were mutated in multiple tumors were assessed in up to 88 additional HNSCCs. In addition to previously described mutations in TP53, CDKN2A, PIK3CA, and HRAS, we identified mutations in FBXW7 and NOTCH1. Nearly 40% of the 28 mutations identified in NOTCH1 were predicted to truncate the gene product, suggesting that NOTCH1 may function as a tumor suppressor gene rather than an oncogene in this tumor type.

Related: Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology FBXW7 gene


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