NOTCH1; notch 1 (9q34.3)

Gene Summary

Gene:NOTCH1; notch 1
Aliases: hN1, AOS5, TAN1, AOVD1
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:14 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (104)


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 14 December 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 14 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (10)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
-NOTCH1 and Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma View Publications104
Breast CancerNOTCH1 and Breast Cancer View Publications95
Head and Neck CancersNOTCH1 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.
View Publications73
Chronic Lymphocytic LeukemiaNOTCH1 and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia View Publications69
Childhood CancersNOTCH1 and Childhood T-Cell ALL View Publications68
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), childNOTCH1 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)
View Publications42
-NOTCH1 / Notch signaling and Drug Resistance
Notch signaling and NOTCH1 expression has been implicated in drug resistance in a number of studies.
View Publications26
Thyroid CancerNOTCH1 and Thyroid Cancer View Publications12
Esophageal CancerNOTCH1 and Esophageal Cancer
In a comparative sequencing study of 11 esophageal adenocarcinomas (EAC) and 12 esophageal squamous cell carcinomas (ESCC) Agrawal (2012) found that 21% of ESCCs had inactivating mutations of NOTCH1, and EAC's did not.
View Publications11
Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL)t(7;9)(q34;q34) in T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia View Publications7

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Related Links

Latest Publications: NOTCH1 (cancer-related)

Inoue T, Swain A, Nakanishi Y, Sugiyama D
Multicolor analysis of cell surface marker of human leukemia cell lines using flow cytometry.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(8):4539-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Leukemia cell lines are utilized as tools for molecular analysis. Their implementation in therapy will require standards for quality control, including appropriate selection criteria for functional analysis and efficacy determination.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Characteristics of six human leukemia cell lines -Kasumi-1, NB-4, MOLM-13, MV-4-11, K562, and Jurkat cells-were investigated using multiple color analysis of surface antigen expression and comparative analysis of gene expression.
RESULTS: Differentiation states of Kasumi-1 and MOLM-13 cells are colony-forming units-granulocyte/macrophage equivalent cells to myeloblasts with comparatively high Growth factor independent-1(GFI1) and Transcription factor PU.1 (PU.1) expression, respectively. NB4 and MV-4-11 express high levels of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-alpha (CEBPα) and differentiate from myeloblasts to pro-monocytes and myeloblasts, respectively. K562 cells are colony-forming units-erythroid equivalent cells to erythroblasts, with the highest expression of GATA-binding factor 2 (GATA2), GATA1 and Friend of gata-1 (FOG1). Jurkat cells are pro-T to mature T-cells with the highest Neurogenic locus notch-1 homolog protein 1 (NOTCH1) expression.
CONCLUSION: Our study gives a useful guideline of standards for appropriate usage of leukemia cell lines for examining novel targets in vitro.

Related: Leukemia

Yui MA, Rothenberg EV
Developmental gene networks: a triathlon on the course to T cell identity.
Nat Rev Immunol. 2014; 14(8):529-45 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 25/07/2015 Related Publications
Cells acquire their ultimate identities by activating combinations of transcription factors that initiate and sustain expression of the appropriate cell type-specific genes. T cell development depends on the progression of progenitor cells through three major phases, each of which is associated with distinct transcription factor ensembles that control the recruitment of these cells to the thymus, their proliferation, lineage commitment and responsiveness to T cell receptor signals, all before the allocation of cells to particular effector programmes. All three phases are essential for proper T cell development, as are the mechanisms that determine the boundaries between each phase. Cells that fail to shut off one set of regulators before the next gene network phase is activated are predisposed to leukaemic transformation.

Related: Signal Transduction

Nishimura K, Tsuchiya Y, Okamoto H, et al.
Identification of chemoresistant factors by protein expression analysis with iTRAQ for head and neck carcinoma.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 111(4):799-806 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 12/08/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cisplatin and other anticancer drugs are important in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma; however, some tumours develop drug resistance. If chemoresistance could be determined before treatment, unnecessary drug administration would be avoided. Here, we investigated chemoresistance factors by comprehensive analyses at the protein level.
METHODS: Four human carcinoma cell lines were used: cisplatin-sensitive UM-SCC-23, UM-SCC-23-CDDPR with acquired cisplatin resistance, naturally cisplatin-resistant UM-SCC-81B, and UM-SCC-23/WR with acquired 5-fluorouracil resistance. Extracted proteins were labelled with iTRAQ and analysed by tandem mass spectrometry to identify resistance. Protein expression was confirmed by western blotting and functional analysis was carried out using siRNA.
RESULTS: Thirteen multiple-drug resistance proteins were identified, as well as seven proteins with specific resistance to cisplatin, including α-enolase. Differential expression of these proteins in cisplatin-resistant and -sensitive cell lines was confirmed by western blotting. Functional analysis for α-enolase by siRNA showed that cisplatin sensitivity significantly was increased in UM-SCC-81B and slightly in UM-SCC-23-CDDPR but not in UM-SCC-23/WR cells.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified proteins thought to mediate anticancer drug resistance using recent proteome technology and identified α-enolase as a true cisplatin chemoresistance factor. Such proteins could be used as biomarkers for anticancer agent resistance and as targets of cancer therapy.

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

Jour G, Scarborough JD, Jones RL, et al.
Molecular profiling of soft tissue sarcomas using next-generation sequencing: a pilot study toward precision therapeutics.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(8):1563-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) can provide in-depth detection of numerous gene alterations. To date, there are very few reports describing the use of this technique in soft tissue sarcomas. Herein, we aim to test the utility of NGS in identifying targetable mutations in these tumors. NGS was performed using a clinically validated multiplexed gene sequencing panel interrogating the full coding sequence of 194 cancer-related genes. A custom bioinformatics pipeline was developed to detect all classes of mutations directly from the NGS data, including single-nucleotide variants, small insertions and deletions, copy number variation, and complex structural variations. Twenty-five soft tissue sarcomas were analyzed; 18 of these patients had metastatic disease and 7 primary locally advanced tumors. Targetable mutations for which clinical trials are available were identified in 60% of the cases. MAP2K4, AURKA, AURKB, and c-MYC amplification were recurrent events in leiomyosarcomas. Frequent non-targetable variants included copy losses of the TP53 (24%), PTEN (16%), and CDKN2A (20%). Additional frameshift mutations, deletion mutations, and single-nucleotide variants involving numerous genes, including RB1, NOTCH1, PIK3CA, PDGFRB, EPHA5, KDM6A, NF1, and FLT4 genes, were also identified. NGS is useful in identifying targetable mutations in soft tissue sarcomas that can serve as a rationale for inclusion of patients with advanced disease in ongoing clinical trials and allow for better risk stratification.

Related: Soft Tissue Sarcomas

Liu Y, Xing ZB, Wang SQ, et al.
MDM2-MOF-H4K16ac axis contributes to tumorigenesis induced by Notch.
FEBS J. 2014; 281(15):3315-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Identification of the epigenetic mechanisms involved in the transmission of Notch signaling is useful for personalized medicine. We observed that aberrantly high levels of Notch activity resulted in H4K16ac downregulation in hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer cell lines and tissues. This downregulated acetylation was a consequence of increased male on the first degradation following the upregulation of full-length murine double minute 2 in different cancer types. We observed that increases in male on the first could attenuate heterogeneity induced by aberrantly high levels of Notch activity. Our results provide new insights into the analysis and treatment of Notch-induced hepatocellular carcinoma and breast cancer.

Related: MDM2 gene Signal Transduction

Aydin IT, Melamed RD, Adams SJ, et al.
FBXW7 mutations in melanoma and a new therapeutic paradigm.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014; 106(6):dju107 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Melanoma is a heterogeneous tumor with subgroups requiring distinct therapeutic strategies. Genetic dissection of melanoma subgroups and identification of therapeutic agents are of great interest in the field. These efforts will ultimately lead to treatment strategies, likely combinatorial, based on genetic information.
METHODS: To identify "driver" genes that can be targeted therapeutically, we screened metastatic melanomas for somatic mutations by exome sequencing followed by selecting those with available targeted therapies directed to the gene product or its functional partner. The FBXW7 gene and its substrate NOTCH1 were identified and further examined. Mutation profiling of FBXW7, biological relevance of these mutations and its inactivation, and pharmacological inhibition of NOTCH1 were examined using in vitro and in vivo assays.
RESULTS: We found FBXW7 to be mutated in eight (8.1%) melanoma patients in our cohort (n = 103). Protein expression analysis in human tissue samples (n = 96) and melanoma cell lines (n = 20) showed FBXW7 inactivation as a common event in melanoma (40.0% of cell lines). As a result of FBXW7 loss, we observed an accumulation of its substrates, such as NOTCH1. Ectopic expression of mutant forms of FBXW7 (by 2.4-fold), as well as silencing of FBXW7 in immortalized melanocytes, accelerated tumor formation in vivo (by 3.9-fold). Its inactivation led to NOTCH1 activation, upregulation of NOTCH1 target genes (by 2.6-fold), and promotion of tumor angiogenesis and resulted in tumor shrinkage upon NOTCH1 inhibition (by fivefold).
CONCLUSIONS: Our data provides evidence on FBXW7 as a critical tumor suppressor mutated and inactivated in melanoma that results in sustained NOTCH1 activation and renders NOTCH signaling inhibition as a promising therapeutic strategy in this setting.

Related: Melanoma Signal Transduction Skin Cancer FBXW7 gene

Riches JC, O'Donovan CJ, Kingdon SJ, et al.
Trisomy 12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells exhibit upregulation of integrin signaling that is modulated by NOTCH1 mutations.
Blood. 2014; 123(26):4101-10 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
The leukocyte adhesion cascade is important in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as it controls migration of malignant cells into the pro-survival lymph node microenvironment. Circulating trisomy 12 CLL cells have increased expression of the integrins CD11a and CD49d, as well as CD38, but the tissue expression of these and other molecules, and the functional and clinical sequelae of these changes have not been described. Here, we demonstrate that circulating trisomy 12 CLL cells also have increased expression of the integrins CD11b, CD18, CD29, and ITGB7, and the adhesion molecule CD323. Notably, there was reduced expression of CD11a, CD11b, and CD18 in trisomy 12 cases with NOTCH1 mutations compared with wild type. Trisomy 12 cells also exhibit upregulation of intracellular integrin signaling molecules CALDAG-GEFI, RAP1B, and Ras-related protein ligand, resulting in enhanced very late antigen-4 [VLA-4] directed adhesion and motility. CD38 expression in CLL has prognostic significance, but the increased CD38 expression in trisomy 12 CLL cells must be taken into account in this subgroup, and the threshold of CD38 positivity should be raised to 40% for this marker to retain its prognostic value. In conclusion, trisomy 12 CLL cells exhibit functional upregulation of integrin signaling, with β2-integrin expression being modulated by NOTCH1 mutation status.

Related: Chromosome 12 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology Signal Transduction

Martins VC, Busch K, Juraeva D, et al.
Cell competition is a tumour suppressor mechanism in the thymus.
Nature. 2014; 509(7501):465-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cell competition is an emerging principle underlying selection for cellular fitness during development and disease. Competition may be relevant for cancer, but an experimental link between defects in competition and tumorigenesis is elusive. In the thymus, T lymphocytes develop from precursors that are constantly replaced by bone-marrow-derived progenitors. Here we show that in mice this turnover is regulated by natural cell competition between 'young' bone-marrow-derived and 'old' thymus-resident progenitors that, although genetically identical, execute differential gene expression programs. Disruption of cell competition leads to progenitor self-renewal, upregulation of Hmga1, transformation, and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) resembling the human disease in pathology, genomic lesions, leukaemia-associated transcripts, and activating mutations in Notch1. Hence, cell competition is a tumour suppressor mechanism in the thymus. Failure to select fit progenitors through cell competition may explain leukaemia in X-linked severe combined immune deficiency patients who showed thymus-autonomous T-cell development after therapy with gene-corrected autologous progenitors.

Curry JM, Sprandio J, Cognetti D, et al.
Tumor microenvironment in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Semin Oncol. 2014; 41(2):217-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tumor microenvironment (TME) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is comprised of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), immune cells, and other supporting cells. Genetic changes in the carcinoma cells, such as alterations to TP53, NOTCH1, and specific gene expression profiles, contribute to derangements in cancer and microenvironment cells such as increased ROS, overproduction of cytokines, and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). CAFs are among the most critical elements of the TME contributing to proliferation, invasion, and metastasis. The adaptive immune response is suppressed in HNSCC through overexpression of cytokines, triggered apoptosis of T cells, and alterations in antigen processing machinery. Overexpression of critical cytokines, such as transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), contributes to EMT, immune suppression, and evolution of CAFs. Inflammation and hypoxia are driving forces in angiogenesis and altered metabolism. HNSCC utilizes glycolytic and oxidative metabolism to fuel tumorigenesis via coupled mechanisms between cancer cell regions and cells of the TME. Increased understanding of the TME in HNSCC illustrates that the long-held notion of "condemned mucosa" reflects a process that extends beyond the epithelial cells to the entire tissue comprised of each of these elements.

Related: Cytokines Head and Neck Cancers Head and Neck Cancers - Molecular Biology Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Xiong Y, Zhang YY, Wu YY, et al.
Correlation of over-expressions of miR-21 and Notch-1 in human colorectal cancer with clinical stages.
Life Sci. 2014; 106(1-2):19-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of the study was to identify expressions of Notch-1, microRNA-21 (miR-21), and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in colorectal cancer (CRC), and to explore their relationship with clinical stages and metastatic status of CRC.
MAIN METHODS: 102 CRC patients were enrolled and clinical data were analyzed. Expressions of Notch-1 and miR-21 in CRC and adjacent non-tumor tissues of these patients were measured by real time-PCR. Protein expressions of Notch-1 and PTEN of 12 paired tissues were determined by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. The correlations between gene expressions in different clinical stages as well as metastatic status were evaluated by linear regression.
KEY FINDINGS: Notch-1 was over-expressed in 86.27% (88/102) CRC tissues, particularly in advanced stages, while miR-21 expression was increased to 74.51% (76/102) in CRC tissues compared with matched adjacent non-tumor tissues. The expressions of Notch-1 and miR-21 were positively correlated with CRC development, especially in advanced-stages (r(2)=0.3839, p<0.01). Expressions of PTEN were significantly down-regulated in CRC tissues and negatively correlated with expressions of Notch-1 (r(2)=0.5207, p<0.01) and miR-21 (r(2)=0.6996, p<0.01).
SIGNIFICANCE: These data indicate that the crosstalk between Notch-1 and miR-21 is involved in CRC development through degradation of PTEN.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer miR-21

Lee SH, Lee S, Yang H, et al.
Notch pathway targets proangiogenic regulator Sox17 to restrict angiogenesis.
Circ Res. 2014; 115(2):215-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
RATIONALE: The Notch pathway stabilizes sprouting angiogenesis by favoring stalk cells over tip cells at the vascular front. Because tip and stalk cells have different properties in morphology and function, their transcriptional regulation remains to be distinguished. Transcription factor Sox17 is specifically expressed in endothelial cells, but its expression and role at the vascular front remain largely unknown.
OBJECTIVE: To specify the role of Sox17 and its relationship with the Notch pathway in sprouting angiogenesis.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Endothelial-specific Sox17 deletion reduces sprouting angiogenesis in mouse embryonic and postnatal vascular development, whereas Sox17 overexpression increases it. Sox17 promotes endothelial migration by destabilizing endothelial junctions and rearranging cytoskeletal structure and upregulates expression of several genes preferentially expressed in tip cells. Interestingly, Sox17 expression is suppressed in stalk cells in which Notch signaling is relatively high. Notch activation by overexpressing Notch intracellular domain reduces Sox17 expression both in primary endothelial cells and in retinal angiogenesis, whereas Notch inhibition by delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4) blockade increases it. The Notch pathway regulates Sox17 expression mainly at the post-transcriptional level. Furthermore, endothelial Sox17 ablation rescues vascular network from excessive tip cell formation and hyperbranching under Notch inhibition in developmental and tumor angiogenesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate that the Notch pathway restricts sprouting angiogenesis by reducing the expression of proangiogenic regulator Sox17.

Related: Angiogenesis and Cancer Signal Transduction

Brooks YS, Ostano P, Jo SH, et al.
Multifactorial ERβ and NOTCH1 control of squamous differentiation and cancer.
J Clin Invest. 2014; 124(5):2260-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
Downmodulation or loss-of-function mutations of the gene encoding NOTCH1 are associated with dysfunctional squamous cell differentiation and development of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in skin and internal organs. While NOTCH1 receptor activation has been well characterized, little is known about how NOTCH1 gene transcription is regulated. Using bioinformatics and functional screening approaches, we identified several regulators of the NOTCH1 gene in keratinocytes, with the transcription factors DLX5 and EGR3 and estrogen receptor β (ERβ) directly controlling its expression in differentiation. DLX5 and ERG3 are required for RNA polymerase II (PolII) recruitment to the NOTCH1 locus, while ERβ controls NOTCH1 transcription through RNA PolII pause release. Expression of several identified NOTCH1 regulators, including ERβ, is frequently compromised in skin, head and neck, and lung SCCs and SCC-derived cell lines. Furthermore, a keratinocyte ERβ-dependent program of gene expression is subverted in SCCs from various body sites, and there are consistent differences in mutation and gene-expression signatures of head and neck and lung SCCs in female versus male patients. Experimentally increased ERβ expression or treatment with ERβ agonists inhibited proliferation of SCC cells and promoted NOTCH1 expression and squamous differentiation both in vitro and in mouse xenotransplants. Our data identify a link between transcriptional control of NOTCH1 expression and the estrogen response in keratinocytes, with implications for differentiation therapy of squamous cancer.

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

Beldjord K, Chevret S, Asnafi V, et al.
Oncogenetics and minimal residual disease are independent outcome predictors in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2014; 123(24):3739-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
With intensified pediatric-like therapy and genetic disease dissection, the field of adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has evolved recently. In this new context, we aimed to reassess the value of conventional risk factors with regard to new genetic alterations and early response to therapy, as assessed by immunoglobulin/T-cell receptor minimal residual disease (MRD) levels. The study was performed in 423 younger adults with Philadelphia chromosome-negative ALL in first remission (265 B-cell precursor [BCP] and 158 T-cell ALL), with cumulative incidence of relapse (CIR) as the primary end point. In addition to conventional risk factors, the most frequent currently available genetic alterations were included in the analysis. A higher specific hazard of relapse was independently associated with postinduction MRD level ≥10(-4) and unfavorable genetic characteristics (ie, MLL gene rearrangement or focal IKZF1 gene deletion in BCP-ALL and no NOTCH1/FBXW7 mutation and/or N/K-RAS mutation and/or PTEN gene alteration in T-cell ALL). These 2 factors allowed definition of a new risk classification that is strongly associated with higher CIR and shorter relapse-free and overall survival. These results indicate that genetic abnormalities are important predictors of outcome in adult ALL not fully recapitulated by early response to therapy. Patients included in this study were treated in the multicenter GRAALL-2003 and GRAALL-2005 trials. Both trials were registered at http://www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00222027 and #NCT00327678, respectively.

Related: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL)

Peng GL, Tian Y, Lu C, et al.
Effects of Notch-1 down-regulation on malignant behaviors of breast cancer stem cells.
J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2014; 34(2):195-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study examined the effect of Notch-1 signaling on malignant behaviors of breast cancer cells by regulating breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs). BCSCs were enriched by using serum-free medium and knocked out of Notch-1 by using a lentiviral vector. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting were used to detect the Notch-1 expression levels in breast cancer cell lines and BCSCs, and flow cytometry to detect the proportion of BCSCs in BCSC spheres. The BCSC self-renewal, migration, invasion, and tumorigenicity were examined by the tumor microsphere-forming assay and transwell assay and after xenotransplantation. The results showed that the Notch-1 silencing reduced the number of BCSC spheres, the proportion of BCSCs, and the number of cells penetrating through the transwell membrane. It also decreased the size of tumors that were implanted in the nude mice. These results suggest that Notch-1 signaling is intimately linked to the behaviors of BCSCs. Blocking Notch-1 signaling can inhibit the malignant behaviors of BCSCs, which may provide a promising therapeutical approach for breast cancer.

Related: Breast Cancer Signal Transduction

Treanor LM, Zhou S, Janke L, et al.
Interleukin-7 receptor mutants initiate early T cell precursor leukemia in murine thymocyte progenitors with multipotent potential.
J Exp Med. 2014; 211(4):701-13 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
Early T cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) exhibits lymphoid, myeloid, and stem cell features and is associated with a poor prognosis. Whole genome sequencing of human ETP-ALL cases has identified recurrent mutations in signaling, histone modification, and hematopoietic development genes but it remains to be determined which of these abnormalities are sufficient to initiate leukemia. We show that activating mutations in the interleukin-7 receptor identified in human pediatric ETP-ALL cases are sufficient to generate ETP-ALL in mice transplanted with primitive transduced thymocytes from p19(Arf-/-) mice. The cellular mechanism by which these mutant receptors induce ETP-ALL is the block of thymocyte differentiation at the double negative 2 stage at which myeloid lineage and T lymphocyte developmental potential coexist. Analyses of samples from pediatric ETP-ALL cases and our murine ETP-ALL model show uniformly high levels of LMO2 expression, very low to undetectable levels of BCL11B expression, and a relative lack of activating NOTCH1 mutations. We report that pharmacological blockade of Jak-Stat signaling with ruxolitinib has significant antileukemic activity in this ETP-ALL model. This new murine model recapitulates several important cellular and molecular features of ETP-ALL and should be useful to further define novel therapeutic approaches for this aggressive leukemia.

Related: Signal Transduction

Lin DC, Hao JJ, Nagata Y, et al.
Genomic and molecular characterization of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(5):467-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is prevalent worldwide and particularly common in certain regions of Asia. Here we report the whole-exome or targeted deep sequencing of 139 paired ESCC cases, and analysis of somatic copy number variations (SCNV) of over 180 ESCCs. We identified previously uncharacterized mutated genes such as FAT1, FAT2, ZNF750 and KMT2D, in addition to those already known (TP53, PIK3CA and NOTCH1). Further SCNV evaluation, immunohistochemistry and biological analysis suggested their functional relevance in ESCC. Notably, RTK-MAPK-PI3K pathways, cell cycle and epigenetic regulation are frequently dysregulated by multiple molecular mechanisms in this cancer. Our approaches also uncovered many druggable candidates, and XPO1 was further explored as a therapeutic target because it showed both gene mutation and protein overexpression. Our integrated study unmasks a number of novel genetic lesions in ESCC and provides an important molecular foundation for understanding esophageal tumors and developing therapeutic targets.

Related: Cancer of the Esophagus Esophageal Cancer FISH Signal Transduction

Song Y, Li L, Ou Y, et al.
Identification of genomic alterations in oesophageal squamous cell cancer.
Nature. 2014; 509(7498):91-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Oesophageal cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers and is the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Approximately 70% of global oesophageal cancer cases occur in China, with oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) being the histopathological form in the vast majority of cases (>90%). Currently, there are limited clinical approaches for the early diagnosis and treatment of ESCC, resulting in a 10% five-year survival rate for patients. However, the full repertoire of genomic events leading to the pathogenesis of ESCC remains unclear. Here we describe a comprehensive genomic analysis of 158 ESCC cases, as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium research project. We conducted whole-genome sequencing in 17 ESCC cases and whole-exome sequencing in 71 cases, of which 53 cases, plus an additional 70 ESCC cases not used in the whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing, were subjected to array comparative genomic hybridization analysis. We identified eight significantly mutated genes, of which six are well known tumour-associated genes (TP53, RB1, CDKN2A, PIK3CA, NOTCH1, NFE2L2), and two have not previously been described in ESCC (ADAM29 and FAM135B). Notably, FAM135B is identified as a novel cancer-implicated gene as assayed for its ability to promote malignancy of ESCC cells. Additionally, MIR548K, a microRNA encoded in the amplified 11q13.3-13.4 region, is characterized as a novel oncogene, and functional assays demonstrate that MIR548K enhances malignant phenotypes of ESCC cells. Moreover, we have found that several important histone regulator genes (MLL2 (also called KMT2D), ASH1L, MLL3 (KMT2C), SETD1B, CREBBP and EP300) are frequently altered in ESCC. Pathway assessment reveals that somatic aberrations are mainly involved in the Wnt, cell cycle and Notch pathways. Genomic analyses suggest that ESCC and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma share some common pathogenic mechanisms, and ESCC development is associated with alcohol drinking. This study has explored novel biological markers and tumorigenic pathways that would greatly improve therapeutic strategies for ESCC.

Related: Chromosome 11 CGH Cancer of the Esophagus Esophageal Cancer

Gaykalova DA, Mambo E, Choudhary A, et al.
Novel insight into mutational landscape of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e93102 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
Development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is characterized by accumulation of mutations in several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. We have formerly described the mutation pattern of HNSCC and described NOTCH signaling pathway alterations. Given the complexity of the HNSCC, here we extend the previous study to understand the overall HNSCC mutation context and to discover additional genetic alterations. We performed high depth targeted exon sequencing of 51 highly actionable cancer-related genes with a high frequency of mutation across many cancer types, including head and neck. DNA from primary tumor tissues and matched normal tissues was analyzed for 37 HNSCC patients. We identified 26 non-synonymous or stop-gained mutations targeting 11 of 51 selected genes. These genes were mutated in 17 out of 37 (46%) studied HNSCC patients. Smokers harbored 3.2-fold more mutations than non-smokers. Importantly, TP53 was mutated in 30%, NOTCH1 in 8% and FGFR3 in 5% of HNSCC. HPV negative patients harbored 4-fold more TP53 mutations than HPV positive patients. These data confirm prior reports of the HNSCC mutational profile. Additionally, we detected mutations in two new genes, CEBPA and FES, which have not been previously reported in HNSCC. These data extend the spectrum of HNSCC mutations and define novel mutation targets in HNSCC carcinogenesis, especially for smokers and HNSCC without HPV infection.

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

Stilgenbauer S, Schnaiter A, Paschka P, et al.
Gene mutations and treatment outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: results from the CLL8 trial.
Blood. 2014; 123(21):3247-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mutations in TP53, NOTCH1, and SF3B1 were analyzed in the CLL8 study evaluating first-line therapy with fludarabine and cyclophosphamide (FC) or FC with rituximab (FCR) among patients with untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). TP53, NOTCH1, and SF3B1 were mutated in 11.5%, 10.0%, and 18.4% of patients, respectively. NOTCH1(mut) and SF3B1(mut) virtually showed mutual exclusivity (0.6% concurrence), but TP53(mut) was frequently found in NOTCH1(mut) (16.1%) and in SF3B1(mut) (14.0%) patients. There were few significant associations with clinical and laboratory characteristics, but genetic markers had a strong influence on response and survival. In multivariable analyses, an independent prognostic impact was found for FCR, thymidine kinase (TK) ≥10 U/L, unmutated IGHV, 11q deletion, 17p deletion, TP53(mut), and SF3B1(mut) on progression-free survival; and for FCR, age ≥65 years, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥1, β2-microglobulin ≥3.5 mg/L, TK ≥10 U/L, unmutated IGHV, 17p deletion, and TP53(mut) on overall survival. Notably, predictive marker analysis identified an interaction of NOTCH1 mutational status and treatment in that rituximab failed to improve response and survival in patients with NOTCH1(mut). In conclusion, TP53 and SF3B1 mutations appear among the strongest prognostic markers in CLL patients receiving current-standard first-line therapy. NOTCH1(mut) was identified as a predictive marker for decreased benefit from the addition of rituximab to FC. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00281918.

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

Mühlbacher V, Zenger M, Schnittger S, et al.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia with low hypodiploid/near triploid karyotype is a specific clinical entity and exhibits a very high TP53 mutation frequency of 93%.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2014; 53(6):524-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL) are subdivided by the WHO classification into five subgroups defined by specific translocations and two further subgroups defined by the number of chromosomes. The hypodiploid subgroup is heterogeneous and comprises ALL with a chromosome number of <46. To characterize a specific subset with low hypodiploid karyotype, we performed chromosome banding analysis, FISH, array comparative genomic hybridization, and mutational analyses of FBXW7, NOTCH1, KRAS, NRAS, TP53, and IKZF1 in 29 cases. We observed a nonrandom pattern of chromosome losses, including chromosomes 3, 7, 13, 15, 16, and 17. A deletion encompassing the CDKN2A/B locus was the only recurrent structural abnormality. A duplication of the low hypodiploid karyotype occurred frequently, resulting in a near triploid karyotype based on the definition by merely counting chromosomes but in fact was a very low tetraploid chromosome set. Mutational analyses revealed no mutations in IKZF1, FBXW7, NOTCH1, and KRAS and only one mutation in NRAS. However, we discovered a high frequency of TP53 mutations in 93% (27/29) of cases. In 26/27 cases with TP53 mutation, the second TP53 allele was lost due to monosomy 17. Median overall survival was short (18.5 months), which might be related to the high frequency of TP53 alterations. Therefore, ALL with low hypodiploidy is characterized by a typical pattern of chromosome losses and a remarkably high TP53 mutation frequency. Our data suggest the introduction of a novel WHO entity within the B lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma group showing low hypodiploid/very low tetraploid karyotype and concomitant TP53 mutation.

Related: FISH Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) TP53

Activation of PP2A by perphenazine induces apoptosis in T-ALL.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(3):OF14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Drug repurposing screens identify the antipsychotic agent perphenazine as active against T-ALL.

Related: Apoptosis

Di Martino MT, Campani V, Misso G, et al.
In vivo activity of miR-34a mimics delivered by stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALPs) against multiple myeloma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e90005 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a disease with an adverse outcome and new therapeutic strategies are urgently awaited. A rising body of evidence supports the notion that microRNAs (miRNAs), master regulators of eukaryotic gene expression, may exert anti-MM activity. Here, we evaluated the activity of synthetic miR-34a in MM cells. We found that transfection of miR-34a mimics in MM cells induces a significant change of gene expression with relevant effects on multiple signal transduction pathways. We detected early inactivation of pro-survival and proliferative kinases Erk-2 and Akt followed at later time points by caspase-6 and -3 activation and apoptosis induction. To improve the in vivo delivery, we encapsulated miR-34a mimics in stable nucleic acid lipid particles (SNALPs). We found that SNALPs miR-34a were highly efficient in vitro in inhibiting growth of MM cells. Then, we investigated the activity of the SNALPs miR-34a against MM xenografts in SCID mice. We observed significant tumor growth inhibition (p<0.05) which translated in mice survival benefits (p=0.0047). Analysis of miR-34a and NOTCH1 expression in tumor retrieved from animal demonstrated efficient delivery and gene modulation induced by SNALPs miR-34a in the absence of systemic toxicity. We here therefore provide evidence that SNALPs miR-34a may represent a promising tool for miRNA-therapeutics in MM.

Related: Apoptosis Myeloma Myeloma - Molecular Biology AKT1 Signal Transduction

Knoechel B, Roderick JE, Williamson KE, et al.
An epigenetic mechanism of resistance to targeted therapy in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nat Genet. 2014; 46(4):364-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
The identification of activating NOTCH1 mutations in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) led to clinical testing of γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs) that prevent NOTCH1 activation. However, responses to these inhibitors have been transient, suggesting that resistance limits their clinical efficacy. Here we modeled T-ALL resistance, identifying GSI-tolerant 'persister' cells that expand in the absence of NOTCH1 signaling. Rare persisters are already present in naive T-ALL populations, and the reversibility of their phenotype suggests an epigenetic mechanism. Relative to GSI-sensitive cells, persister cells activate distinct signaling and transcriptional programs and exhibit chromatin compaction. A knockdown screen identified chromatin regulators essential for persister viability, including BRD4. BRD4 binds enhancers near critical T-ALL genes, including MYC and BCL2. The BRD4 inhibitor JQ1 downregulates expression of these targets and induces growth arrest and apoptosis in persister cells, at doses well tolerated by GSI-sensitive cells. Consistently, the GSI-JQ1 combination was found to be effective against primary human leukemias in vivo. Our findings establish a role for epigenetic heterogeneity in leukemia resistance that may be addressed by incorporating epigenetic modulators in combination therapy.

Related: Signal Transduction BRD4 gene

Lionetti M, Fabris S, Cutrona G, et al.
High-throughput sequencing for the identification of NOTCH1 mutations in early stage chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: biological and clinical implications.
Br J Haematol. 2014; 165(5):629-39 [PubMed] Related Publications
NOTCH1 mutations have recently emerged as new genetic lesions significantly correlated with survival in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). We performed deep next generation sequencing of the NOTCH1 mutation hotspot in 384 cases at diagnosis, including 100 monoclonal B cell lymphocytosis (MBL) and 284 Binet stage A CLL cases, enrolled in the Gruppo Italiano Studio Linfomi O-CLL1 multicentre trial. The NOTCH1 c.7541_7542delCT dinucleotide deletion was detected and confirmed by an extremely sensitive polymerase chain reaction-based approach in 11% of MBL and 13·4% of CLL patients. Remarkably, the NOTCH1 mutation was often observed at low clonal level, mainly in MBL patients. Sequential analyses in a fraction of cases showed that the NOTCH1 mutation generally does not occur during the disease course and that the mutational load in positive cases tends to be stable over time. NOTCH1-mutated cases, even at low clonal level, displayed a significant reduction in median progression-free survival, although NOTCH1 mutation lost its prognostic impact in a multivariate analysis including 11q and/or 17p deletion, IGHV mutational status, and MBL or CLL status. Our data highlight the importance of using highly sensitive methods to measure NOTCH1 mutations, in order to improve prognostic stratification and obtain useful information for potential therapeutic approaches.

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

Deep G, Jain AK, Ramteke A, et al.
SNAI1 is critical for the aggressiveness of prostate cancer cells with low E-cadherin.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 26/06/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A better molecular understanding of prostate carcinogenesis is warranted to devise novel targeted preventive and therapeutic strategies against prostate cancer (PCA), a major cause of mortality among men. Here, we examined the role of two epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulators, the adherens junction protein E-cadherin and its transcriptional repressor SNAI1, in regulating the aggressiveness of PCA cells.
METHODS: The growth rate of human prostate carcinoma PC3 cells with stable knock-down of E-cadherin (ShEC-PC3) and respective control cells (Sh-PC3) was compared in MTT and clonogenic assays in cell culture and in nude mouse xenograft model in vivo. Stemness of ShEC-PC3 and Sh-PC3 cells was analyzed in prostasphere assay. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to study protein expression changes following E-cadherin and SNAI1 knock-down. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) technique was employed to knock- down SNAI1 protein expression in ShEC-PC3 cells.
RESULTS: ShEC-PC3 cells exerted higher proliferation rate both in cell culture and in athymic nude mice compared to Sh-PC3 cells. ShEC-PC3 cells also formed larger and a significantly higher number of prostaspheres suggesting an increase in the stem cell-like population with E-cadherin knock-down. Also, ShEC-PC3 prostaspheres disintegration, in the presence of serum and attachment, generated a bigger mass of proliferating cells as compared to Sh-PC3 prostaspheres. Immunoblotting/IHC analyses showed that E-cadherin knock-down increases the expression of regulators/biomarkers for stemness (CD44, cleaved Notch1 and Egr-1) and EMT (Vimentin, pSrc-tyr416, Integrin β3, β-catenin, and NF-κB) in cell culture and xenograft tissues. The expression of several bone metastasis related molecules namely CXCR4, uPA, RANKL and RunX2 was also increased in ShEC-PC3 cells. Importantly, we observed a remarkable increase in SNAI1 expression in cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions, prostaspheres and xenograft tissues of ShEC-PC3 cells. Furthermore, SNAI1 knock-down by specific siRNA strongly inhibited the prostasphere formation, clonogenicity and invasiveness, and decreased the level of pSrc-tyr416, total Src and CD44 in ShEC-PC3 cells. Characterization of RWPE-1, WPE1-NA22, WPE1-NB14 and DU-145 cells further confirmed that low E-cadherin is associated with higher SNAI1 expression and prostasphere formation.
CONCLUSIONS: Together, these results suggest that E-cadherin loss promotes SNAI1 expression that controls the aggressiveness of PCA cells.

Related: Prostate Cancer

Messina M, Del Giudice I, Khiabanian H, et al.
Genetic lesions associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia chemo-refractoriness.
Blood. 2014; 123(15):2378-88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 10/04/2015 Related Publications
Fludarabine refractoriness (FR) represents an unsolved clinical problem of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) management. Although next-generation sequencing studies have led to the identification of a number of genes frequently mutated in FR-CLL, a comprehensive evaluation of the FR-CLL genome has not been reported. Toward this end, we studied 10 FR-CLLs by combining whole-exome sequencing and copy number aberration (CNA) analysis, which showed an average of 16.3 somatic mutations and 4 CNAs per sample. Screening of recurrently mutated genes in 48 additional FR-CLLs revealed that ~70% of FR-CLLs carry ≥1 mutation in genes previously associated with CLL clinical course, including TP53 (27.5%), NOTCH1 (24.1%), SF3B1 (18.9%), and BIRC3 (15.5%). In addition, this analysis showed that 10.3% of FR-CLL cases display mutations of the FAT1 gene, which encodes for a cadherin-like protein that negatively regulates Wnt signaling, consistent with a tumor suppressor role. The frequency of FAT1-mutated cases was significantly higher in FR-CLL than in unselected CLLs at diagnosis (10.3% vs 1.1%, P = .004), suggesting a role in the development of a high-risk phenotype. These findings have general implications for the mechanisms leading to FR and point to Wnt signaling as a potential therapeutic target in FR-CLL.

Related: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology FAT1

Pastò A, Serafin V, Pilotto G, et al.
NOTCH3 signaling regulates MUSASHI-1 expression in metastatic colorectal cancer cells.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(7):2106-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
MUSASHI-1 (MSI-1) is a well-established stem cell marker in both normal and malignant colon cells and it acts by positively regulating the NOTCH pathway through inactivation of NUMB, a NOTCH signaling repressor. To date, the mechanisms of regulation of MSI-1 levels remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the regulation of MSI-1 by NOTCH signaling in colorectal cancer cell lines and in primary cultures of colorectal cancer metastases. Stimulation by the NOTCH ligand DLL4 was associated with an increase of MSI-1 mRNA and protein levels, and this phenomenon was prevented by the addition of an antibody neutralizing NOTCH2/3 but not NOTCH1. Moreover, forced expression of activated NOTCH3 increased MSI-1 levels, whereas silencing of NOTCH3 by short hairpin RNA reduced MSI-1 levels in both colorectal cancer cells and CRC tumor xenografts. Consistent with these findings, enforced NOTCH3 expression or stimulation by DLL4 increased levels of activated NOTCH1 in colorectal cell lines. Finally, treatment of colorectal cancer cells with anti-NOTCH2/3 antibody increased NUMB protein while significantly reducing formation of tumor cell spheroids. This novel feed-forward circuit involving DLL4, NOTCH3, MSI-1, NUMB, and NOTCH1 may be relevant for regulation of NOTCH signaling in physiologic processes as well as in tumor development. With regard to therapeutic implications, NOTCH3-specific drugs could represent a valuable strategy to limit NOTCH signaling in the context of colorectal cancers overexpressing this receptor.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Signal Transduction NOTCH3

Zhu Z, Todorova K, Lee KK, et al.
Small GTPase RhoE/Rnd3 is a critical regulator of Notch1 signaling.
Cancer Res. 2014; 74(7):2082-93 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
Aberrations of Notch signaling have been implicated in a variety of human cancers. Oncogenic mutations in NOTCH1 are common in human T-cell leukemia and lymphomas. However, loss-of-function somatic mutations in NOTCH1 arising in solid tumors imply a tumor suppressor function, which highlights the need to understand Notch signaling more completely. Here, we describe the small GTPase RhoE/Rnd3 as a downstream mediator of Notch signaling in squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) that arise in skin epithelia. RhoE is a transcriptional target of activated Notch1, which is attenuated broadly in SCC cells. RhoE depletion suppresses Notch1-mediated signaling in vitro, rendering primary keratinocytes resistant to Notch1-mediated differentiation and thereby favoring a proliferative cell fate. Mechanistic investigations indicated that RhoE controls a key step in Notch1 signaling by mediating nuclear translocation of the activated portion of Notch1 (N1IC) through interaction with importins. Our results define RhoE as a Notch1 target that is essential for recruitment of N1IC to the promoters of Notch1 target genes, establishing a regulatory feedback loop in Notch1 signaling. This molecular circuitry may inform distinct cell fate decisions to Notch1 in epithelial tissues, where carcinomas such as SCC arise.

Related: Signal Transduction Skin Cancer

Gonzalez ME, Moore HM, Li X, et al.
EZH2 expands breast stem cells through activation of NOTCH1 signaling.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(8):3098-103 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, but the details of how it begins remain elusive. Increasing evidence supports the association of aggressive triple-negative (TN) breast cancer with heightened expression of the Polycomb group protein Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2) and increased tumor-initiating cells (TICs). However, mechanistic links between EZH2 and TICs are unclear, and direct demonstration of a tumorigenic function of EZH2 in vivo is lacking. Here, we identify an unrecognized EZH2/NOTCH1 axis that controls breast TICs in TN breast carcinomas. EZH2 overexpression increases NOTCH1 expression and signaling, and inhibition of NOTCH1 activity prevents EZH2-mediated stem cell expansion in nontumorigenic breast cells. We uncover a unique role of EZH2 in activating, rather than repressing, NOTCH1 signaling through binding to the NOTCH1 promoter in TN breast cancer cells. EZH2 binding is independent of its catalytic histone H3 lysine 27 methyltransferase activity and of the Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 but corresponds instead to transcriptional activation marks. In vivo, EZH2 knockdown decreases the onset and volume of xenografts derived from TN breast TICs. Conversely, transgenic EZH2 overexpression accelerates mammary tumor initiation and increases NOTCH1 activation in mouse mammary tumor virus-neu mice. Consonant with these findings, in clinical samples, high levels of EZH2 are significantly associated with activated NOTCH1 protein and increased TICs in TN invasive carcinomas. These data reveal a functional and mechanistic link between EZH2 levels, NOTCH1 signaling activation, and TICs, and provide previously unidentified evidence that EZH2 enhances breast cancer initiation.

Related: Signal Transduction

Qiu M, Bao W, Wang J, et al.
FOXA1 promotes tumor cell proliferation through AR involving the Notch pathway in endometrial cancer.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that forkhead box A1 (FOXA1) is frequently dysregulated in many types of human cancers. However, the exact function and mechanism of FOXA1 in human endometrial cancer (EC) remains unclear.
METHODS: FOXA1 expression, androgen receptor (AR) expression, and the relationships of these two markers with clinicopathological factors were determined by immunohistochemistry analysis. FOXA1 and AR were up-regulated by transient transfection with plasmids, and were down-regulated by transfection with siRNA or short hairpin RNA (shRNA). The effects of FOXA1 depletion and FOXA1 overexpression on AR-mediated transcription as well as Notch pathway and their impact on EC cell proliferation were examined by qRT-PCR, western blotting, co-immunoprecipitation, ChIP-PCR, MTT, colony-formation, and xenograft tumor-formation assays.
RESULTS: We found that the expression of FOXA1 and AR in ECs was significantly higher than that in a typical hyperplasia and normal tissues. FOXA1 expression was significantly correlated with AR expression in clinical tissues. High FOXA1 levels positively correlated with pathological grade and depth of myometrial invasion in EC. High AR levels also positively correlated with pathological grade in EC. Moreover, the expression of XBP1, MYC, ZBTB16, and UHRF1, which are downstream targets of AR, was promoted by FOXA1 up-regulation or inhibited by FOXA1 down-regulation. Co-immunoprecipitation showed that FOXA1 interacted with AR in EC cells. ChIP-PCR assays showed that FOXA1 and AR could directly bind to the promoter and enhancer regions upstream of MYC. Mechanistic investigation revealed that over-expression of Notch1 and Hes1 proteins by FOXA1 could be reversed by AR depletion. In addition, we showed that down-regulation of AR attenuated FOXA1-up-regulated cell proliferation. However, AR didn't influence the promotion effect of FOXA1 on cell migration and invasion. In vivo xenograft model, FOXA1 knockdown reduced the rate of tumor growth.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that FOXA1 promotes cell proliferation by AR and activates Notch pathway. It indicated that FOXA1 and AR may serve as potential gene therapy in EC.

Related: Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer Signal Transduction AR: androgen receptor

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 01/04/2015 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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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. NOTCH1 gene, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancerindex.org/geneweb/NOTCH1.htm Accessed: date

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