Gene Summary

Gene:NOTCH3; notch 3
Summary:This gene encodes the third discovered human homologue of the Drosophilia melanogaster type I membrane protein notch. In Drosophilia, notch interaction with its cell-bound ligands (delta, serrate) establishes an intercellular signalling pathway that plays a key role in neural development. Homologues of the notch-ligands have also been identified in human, but precise interactions between these ligands and the human notch homologues remains to be determined. Mutations in NOTCH3 have been identified as the underlying cause of cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL). [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:neurogenic locus notch homolog protein 3
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (21)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 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.

  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Sirtuins
  • Notch Receptors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • NOTCH1 Receptor
  • Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases
  • Chromosome 19
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Movement
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Translocation
  • siRNA
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Transcriptome
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Western Blotting
  • Young Adult
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Breast Cancer
  • Tongue Neoplasms
  • Jagged-1 Protein
  • Spheroids, Cellular
  • Thymus Neoplasms
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Up-Regulation
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • NOTCH3
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Receptor, Notch3
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

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

Latest Publications: NOTCH3 (cancer-related)

Mezzomo LC, Pesce FG, Marçal JM, et al.
Decreased TAp63 and ΔNp63 mRNA Levels in Most Human Pituitary Adenomas Are Correlated with Notch3/Jagged1 Relative Expression.
Endocr Pathol. 2017; 28(1):13-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite recent advances in molecular genetics, the pituitary adenoma initiation, development, progress, and the molecular basis of their unique features are still poorly understood. In this sense, it is proposed that stem cell could be involved in pituitary adenoma tumorigenesis. It is suggested that TP63 has important functions in stem cells, and it may have interplay of TP63 and Notch and its ligand Jagged in this process. This study aimed to evaluate the distinct expression of TP63 isoforms (TAp63 and ΔNp63), as well as its correlation with Notch3 receptor and its ligand Jagged1 in human pituitary adenomas at the messenger RNA (mRNA) level. We included 77 pituitary adenoma tumor samples from patients who underwent surgical resection. The expression levels of TP63 isoforms (TAp63 and ΔNp63) and Notch3 and its ligand Jagged1 were evaluated by qRT-PCR using isoform-specific primers. We also evaluated proliferation index immunohistochemically using KI-67 antibody. The expression levels were associated with clinical outcomes, as age, gender, tumor size, and tumor subtype. In summary, we found that mRNA expression of both TP63 isoforms decreased in pituitary adenomas compared with normal pituitary control. On the other hand, there was an increase of relative Notch3 and Jagged1 mRNA expression in the majority of examined samples. The mRNA expression of three genes evaluated was correlated and statistically significantly. There was no significant association between gene expression and the analyzed clinical data. The current study has provided the first time evidence that Tap63 and ΔNp63 isoforms are underexpressed in most pituitary adenomas. These results are correlated with Notch3 and its ligand Jagged1 overexpression, corroborating previous studies pointing its antagonistic interactions.

Zhou JX, Zhou L, Li QJ, et al.
Association between high levels of Notch3 expression and high invasion and poor overall survival rates in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2893-2901 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a commonly fatal tumour. It is characterized by early metastasis and high mortality. Many patients die as a result of PDAC tumour progression. However, the underlying mechanism of invasion and metastasis in PDAC is still not fully understood. Previous studies showed that the Notch signalling pathway may play an important role in the progression of tumour invasion and metastasis. However, it is not yet known whether the Notch signalling pathway participates in the progression of invasion in PDAC. In the present study, immunohistochemistry showed that a high expression of Notch3 was correlated with tumour grade, metastasis, venous invasion and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Kaplan-Meier curves suggested that a high expression of Notch3 was a significant risk factor for shortened survival time. We also showed that inhibition of Notch3 had an anti‑invasion role in PDAC cells. In vitro, the inhibition of Notch3 reduced the migration and invasion capabilities of PDAC cells by regulating the expressions of E-cadherin, CD44v6, MMP-2, MMP-9, VEGF and uPA via regulating the COX-2 and ERK1/2 pathways. These results indicated that downregulation of the Notch signalling pathway may be a novel and useful approach for preventing and treating PDAC invasion.

Bigagli E, De Filippo C, Castagnini C, et al.
DNA copy number alterations, gene expression changes and disease-free survival in patients with colorectal cancer: a 10 year follow-up.
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2016; 39(6):545-558 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: DNA copy number alterations (CNAs) and gene expression changes have amply been encountered in colorectal cancers (CRCs), but the extent at which CNAs affect gene expression, as well as their relevance for tumor development, are still poorly defined. Here we aimed at assessing the clinical relevance of these parameters in a 10 year follow-up study.
METHODS: Tumors and normal adjacent colon mucosa, obtained at primary surgery from 21 CRC patients, were subjected to (i) high-resolution array CGH (a-CGH) for the detection of CNAs and (ii) microarray-based transcriptome profiling for the detection of gene expression (GE) changes. Correlations between these genomic and transcriptomic changes and their associations with clinical and histopathological parameters were assessed with the aim to identify molecular signatures associated with disease-free survival of the CRC patients during a 10 year follow-up.
RESULTS: DNA copy number gains were frequently detected in chromosomes 7, 8q, 13, 19, 20q and X, whereas DNA copy number losses were frequently detected in chromosomes 1p, 4, 8p, 15, 17p, 18, 19 and 22q. None of these alterations were observed in all samples. In addition, we found that 2,498 genes were up- and that 1,094 genes were down-regulated in the tumor samples compared to their corresponding normal mucosa (p < 0.01). The expression of 65 genes was found to be significantly associated with prognosis (p < 0.01). Specifically, we found that up-regulation of the IL17RA, IGF2BP2 and ABCC2 genes, and of genes acting in the mTOR and cytokine receptor pathways, were strongly associated with a poor survival. Subsequent integrated analyses revealed that increased expression levels of the MMP9, BMP7, UBE2C, I-CAM, NOTCH3, NOTCH1, PTGES2, HMGB1 and ERBB3 genes were associated with copy number gains, whereas decreased expression levels of the MUC1, E2F2, HRAS and SIRT3 genes were associated with copy number losses. Pathways related to cell cycle progression, eicosanoid metabolism, and TGF-β and apoptosis signaling, were found to be most significantly affected.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that CNAs in CRC tumor tissues are associated with concomitant changes in the expression of cancer-related genes. In other genes epigenetic mechanism may be at work. Up-regulation of the IL17RA, IGF2BP2 and ABCC2 genes, and of genes acting in the mTOR and cytokine receptor pathways, appear to be associated with a poor survival. These alterations may, in addition to Dukes' staging, be employed as new prognostic biomarkers for the prediction of clinical outcome in CRC patients.

Lin X, Sun B, Zhu D, et al.
Notch4+ cancer stem-like cells promote the metastatic and invasive ability of melanoma.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(8):1079-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sphere formation in conditioned serum-free culture medium supplemented with epidermal growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor (tumorospheres) is considered useful for the enrichment of cancer stem-like cells, also known as tumor-initiating cells. We used a gene expression microarray to investigate the gene expression profile of melanoma cancer stem-like cells (MCSLCs). The results showed that MCSLCs highly expressed the following Notch signaling pathway molecules: Notch3 (NM_008716), Notch4 (NM_010929), Dtx4 (NM_172442), and JAG2 (NM_010588). Immunofluorescence staining showed tumorosphere cells highly expressed Notch4. Notch4(high) B16F10 cells were isolated by FACS, and Western blotting showed that high Notch4 expression is related to the expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated proteins. Reduced invasive and migratory properties concomitant with the downregulation of the EMT markers Twist1, vimentin, and VE-cadherin and the overexpression of E-cadherin was observed in human melanoma A375 and MUM-2B cells. In these cells, Notch4 was also downregulated, both by Notch4 gene knockdown and by application of the γ-secretase inhibitor, DAPT. Mechanistically, the re-overexpression of Twist1 by the transfection of cells with a Twist1 expression plasmid led to an increase in VE-cadherin expression and a decrease in E-cadherin expression. Immunohistochemical analysis of 120 human melanoma tissues revealed a significant correlation between the high expression of Notch4 and the metastasis of melanoma. Taken together, our findings indicate that Notch4+ MCSLCs trigger EMT and promote the metastasis of melanoma cells.

Liu ZY, Wu T, Li Q, et al.
Notch Signaling Components: Diverging Prognostic Indicators in Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(20):e3715 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a lethal and aggressive malignancy. Currently, the identities of prognostic and predictive makers of NSCLC have not been fully established. Dysregulated Notch signaling has been implicated in many human malignancies, including NSCLC. However, the prognostic value of measuring Notch signaling and the utility of developing Notch-targeted therapies in NSCLC remain inconclusive. The present study investigated the association of individual Notch receptor and ligand levels with lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) prognosis using the Kaplan-Meier plotte database. This online database encompasses 2437 lung cancer samples. Hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals were calculated. The results showed that higher Notch1, Notch2, JAG1, and DLL1 mRNA expression predicted better overall survival (OS) in lung ADC, but showed no significance in SCC patients. Elevated Notch3, JAG2, and DLL3 mRNA expression was associated with poor OS of ADC patients, but not in SCC patients. There was no association between Notch4 and OS in either lung ADC or SCC patients. In conclusion, the set of Notch1, Notch2, JAG1, DLL1 and that of Notch3, JAG2, DLL3 played opposing prognostic roles in lung ADC patients. Neither set of Notch receptors and ligands was indicative of lung SCC prognosis. Notch signaling could serve as promising marker to predict outcomes in lung ADC patients. The distinct features of lung cancer subtypes and Notch components should be considered when developing future Notch-targeted therapies.

Ali SA, Justilien V, Jamieson L, et al.
Protein Kinase Cι Drives a NOTCH3-dependent Stem-like Phenotype in Mutant KRAS Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Cancer Cell. 2016; 29(3):367-78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
We report that the protein kinase Cι (PKCι) oncogene controls expression of NOTCH3, a key driver of stemness, in KRAS-mediated lung adenocarcinoma (LADC). PKCι activates NOTCH3 expression by phosphorylating the ELF3 transcription factor and driving ELF3 occupancy on the NOTCH3 promoter. PKCι-ELF3-NOTCH3 signaling controls the tumor-initiating cell phenotype by regulating asymmetric cell division, a process necessary for tumor initiation and maintenance. Primary LADC tumors exhibit PKCι-ELF3-NOTCH3 signaling, and combined pharmacologic blockade of PKCι and NOTCH synergistically inhibits tumorigenic behavior in vitro and LADC growth in vivo demonstrating the therapeutic potential of PKCι-ELF3-NOTCH3 signal inhibition to more effectively treat KRAS LADC.

Ouyang Y, Pan J, Tai Q, et al.
Transcriptomic changes associated with DKK4 overexpression in pancreatic cancer cells detected by RNA-Seq.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(8):10827-38 [PubMed] Related Publications
The promotion of tumor development by Dickkopf 4 (DKK4) is receiving increased attention. However, the association between DKK4 and pancreatic cancer remains unclear. DKK4 expression was measured in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissues using qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. A DKK4-overexpressing pancreatic cancer cell line was established, and the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were induced by DKK4 were identified using transcriptome sequencing. The association between the identified DEGs and pancreatic cancer was assessed using gene ontology (GO), pathway analysis, pathway interaction networks, differentially expressed gene interaction network analysis, and co-expression gene networks. Finally, the accuracy of the analyses was validated using serial paraffin and frozen sections of clinical samples. DKK4 is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer tissues. DEGs of overexpression DKK4 of PANC-1 are mostly upregulated. GO and pathway analysis showed that DKK4 are associated with tumor and organ development and immune inflammation. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway was the main signal transduction pathway that showed significant enrichment in overexpression DKK4 of PANC-1. The results of GO, pathway analyses, and differentially expressed gene interaction network identified genes that are closely associated with tumor development, including MAPK3, PIK3R3, VAV3, JAG1, and Notch3. The immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence results suggested that DKK4 is co-expressed with MAPK3 and VAV3 in pancreatic cancer tissues. The results presented here show for the first time that DKK4 is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer tissues. Bioinformatics analysis of a DKK4-overexpressing of PANC-1 identified several oncogenes that are closely associated with tumors, and the MAPK signaling pathway is the core signal transduction pathway. DKK4 can be co-expressed with MAPK3 and VAV3 in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tissues. Thus, DKK4 may have function on the development and progression of pancreatic cancer.

Sansone P, Ceccarelli C, Berishaj M, et al.
Self-renewal of CD133(hi) cells by IL6/Notch3 signalling regulates endocrine resistance in metastatic breast cancer.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:10442 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
The mechanisms of metastatic progression from hormonal therapy (HT) are largely unknown in luminal breast cancer. Here we demonstrate the enrichment of CD133(hi)/ER(lo) cancer cells in clinical specimens following neoadjuvant endocrine therapy and in HT refractory metastatic disease. We develop experimental models of metastatic luminal breast cancer and demonstrate that HT can promote the generation of HT-resistant, self-renewing CD133(hi)/ER(lo)/IL6(hi) cancer stem cells (CSCs). HT initially abrogates oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) generating self-renewal-deficient cancer cells, CD133(hi)/ER(lo)/OXPHOS(lo). These cells exit metabolic dormancy via an IL6-driven feed-forward ER(lo)-IL6(hi)-Notch(hi) loop, activating OXPHOS, in the absence of ER activity. The inhibition of IL6R/IL6-Notch pathways switches the self-renewal of CD133(hi) CSCs, from an IL6/Notch-dependent one to an ER-dependent one, through the re-expression of ER. Thus, HT induces an OXPHOS metabolic editing of luminal breast cancers, paradoxically establishing HT-driven self-renewal of dormant CD133(hi)/ER(lo) cells mediating metastatic progression, which is sensitive to dual targeted therapy.

Hassan WA, Yoshida R, Kudoh S, et al.
Evaluation of role of Notch3 signaling pathway in human lung cancer cells.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(5):981-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: There is still a debate on the extent to which Notch3 signaling is involved in lung carcinogenesis and whether such function is dependent on cancer type or not.
PURPOSE: To evaluate Notch3 expression in different types of human lung cancer cells.
METHODS: Notch3 was detected in human lung cancer cell lines and in tissues. Then, small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to down-regulate the expression of Notch3 in H69AR small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cells; two non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cells; A549 adenocarcinoma (ADC); and H2170 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). In addition, Notch3 intracellular domain (N3ICD) plasmid was transfected into H1688 human SCLC cells. We observed the effect of deregulating Notch3 signaling on the following cell properties: Notch-related proteins, cell morphology, adhesion, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), motility, proliferation and neuroendocrine (NE) features of SCLC.
RESULTS: Notch3 is mainly expressed in NSCLC, and the expression of Notch1, Hes1 and Jagged1 is affected by Notch3. Notch3 has opposite functions in SCLC and NSCLC, being a tumor suppressor in the former and tumor promoting in the latter, in the context of cell adhesion, EMT and motility. Regarding cell proliferation, we found that inhibiting Notch3 in NSCLC decreases cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in NSCLC. Notch3 has no effect on cell proliferation or NE features of SCLC.
CONCLUSION: Notch3 signaling in lung carcinoma is dependent on cell type. In SCLC, Notch3 behaves as a tumor suppressor pathway, while in NSCLC it acts as a tumor-promoting pathway.

Küsters-Vandevelde HV, Creytens D, van Engen-van Grunsven AC, et al.
SF3B1 and EIF1AX mutations occur in primary leptomeningeal melanocytic neoplasms; yet another similarity to uveal melanomas.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2016; 4:5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Like uveal melanomas, primary leptomeningeal melanocytic neoplasms (LMNs) frequently carry GNAQ and GNA11 mutations. However, it is currently unknown whether these LMNs harbor mutations in BAP1, SF3B1 and/or EIF1AX like uveal melanomas as well. In this study, we used Sanger sequencing for the detection of mutations in SF3B1 (hotspots in exon 14 and 15) and EIF1AX (exon 1 and 2 and flanking intronic regions) in a series of 24 primary LMNs. Additionally, BAP1 immunohistochemistry was used as a surrogate marker for the detection of inactivating mutations in the BAP1 gene.
RESULTS: Mutations in either SF3B1 or EIF1AX were identified in 8 out of 24 primary LMNs (33 %). The presence of these mutations was mutually exclusive and occurred in primary LMNs of different malignancy grades (melanocytomas, intermediate-grade melanocytic tumors, melanomas). Complete absence of nuclear BAP1 staining as is typically seen in BAP1-mutated tumors was not observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Our finding that an SF3B1 or EIF1AX mutation is present in a substantial subset of primary LMNs underscores that these tumors genetically resemble uveal melanoma and are different from cutaneous melanoma at the genetic level. This information may not only aid in the differential diagnosis of primary versus metastatic melanocytic tumor in/around the central nervous system, but also in the identification of more promising therapeutic approaches targeting the molecular pathways involved in the oncogenesis of LMNs. As none of the primary LMNs in our series showed complete loss of nuclear BAP1 protein, it is unlikely that BAP1 mutations are frequent in these tumors but the role of this gene warrants further investigation.

Ock CY, Son B, Keam B, et al.
Identification of genomic mutations associated with clinical outcomes of induction chemotherapy in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2016; 142(4):873-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We performed deep sequencing of target genes in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) tumors to identify somatic mutations that are associated with induction chemotherapy (IC) response.
METHODS: Patients who were diagnosed with HNSCC were retrospectively identified. Patients who were treated with IC were divided into two groups: good responders and poor responders by tumor response and progression-free survival. Targeted gene sequencing for 2404 somatic mutations of 44 genes was performed on HNSCC tissues. Mutations with total coverage of <500 were excluded, and the cutoff for altered allele frequency was >10 %.
RESULTS: Of the 71 patients, 45 were treated upfront with IC. Mean total coverage was 1941 per locus, and 42.2 % of tumors had TP53 mutations. Thirty-three mutations in TP53, NOTCH3, FGFR2, FGFR3, ATM, EGFR, MET, PTEN, FBXW7, SYNE1, and SUFU were frequently altered in poor responders. Among the patients who were treated with IC, those with unfavorable genomic profiles had significantly poorer overall survival than those without unfavorable genomic profiles (hazard ratio 6.45, 95 % confidence interval 2.07-20.10, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Comprehensive analysis of mutation frequencies identified unfavorable genomic profiles, and the patients without unfavorable genomic profiles can obtain clinical benefits from IC in patients with HNSCC.

Zhou X, Teng L, Wang M
Distinct prognostic values of four-Notch-receptor mRNA expression in ovarian cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6979-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
Notch signaling pathway includes ligands and Notch receptors, which are frequently deregulated in several human malignancies including ovarian cancer. Aberrant activation of Notch signaling has been linked to ovarian carcinogenesis and progression. In the current study, we used the "Kaplan-Meier plotter" (KM plotter) database, in which updated gene expression data and survival information from a total of 1306 ovarian cancer patients were used to access the prognostic value of four Notch receptors in ovarian cancer patients. Hazard ratio (HR), 95 % confidence intervals, and log-rank P were calculated. Notch1 messenger RNA (mRNA) high expression was not found to be correlated to overall survival (OS) for all ovarian cancer, as well as in serous and endometrioid cancer patients followed for 20 years. However, Notch1 mRNA high expression is significantly associated with worsen OS in TP53 wild-type ovarian cancer patients, while it is significantly associated with better OS in TP53 mutation-type ovarian cancer patients. Notch2 mRNA high expression was found to be significantly correlated to worsen OS for all ovarian cancer patients, as well as in grade II ovarian cancer patients. Notch3 mRNA high expression was found to be significantly correlated to better OS for all ovarian cancer patients, but not in serous cancer patients and endometrioid cancer patients. Notch4 mRNA high expression was not found to be significantly correlated to OS for all ovarian cancer patients, serous cancer patients, and endometrioid cancer patients. These results indicate that there are distinct prognostic values of four Notch receptors in ovarian cancer. This information will be useful for better understanding of the heterogeneity and complexity in the molecular biology of ovarian cancer and for developing tools to more accurately predict their prognosis. Based on our results, Notch1 could be a potential drug target of TP53 wild-type ovarian cancer and Notch2 could be a potential drug target of ovarian cancer.

Narayanappa R, Rout P, Aithal MG, Chand AK
Aberrant expression of Notch1, HES1, and DTX1 genes in glioblastoma formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6935-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor accounting for more than 54 % of all gliomas. Despite aggressive treatments, median survival remains less than 1 year. This might be due to the unavailability of effective molecular diagnostic markers and targeted therapy. Thus, it is essential to discover molecular mechanisms underlying disease by identifying dysregulated pathways involved in tumorigenesis. Notch signaling is one such pathway which plays an important role in determining cell fates. Since it is found to play a critical role in many cancers, we investigated the role of Notch genes in glioblastoma with an aim to identify biomarkers that can improve diagnosis. Using real-time PCR, we assessed the expression of Notch genes including receptors (Notch1, Notch2, Notch3, and Notch4), ligands (JAG1, JAG2, and DLL3), downstream targets (HES1 and HEY2), regulator Deltex1 (DTX1), inhibitor NUMB along with transcriptional co-activator MAML1, and a component of gamma-secretase complex APH1A in 15 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) patient samples. Relative quantification was done by the 2(-ΔΔCt) method; the data are presented as fold change in gene expression normalized to an internal control gene and relative to the calibrator. The data revealed aberrant expression of Notch genes in glioblastoma compared to normal brain. More than 85 % of samples showed high Notch1 (P = 0.0397) gene expression and low HES1 (P = 0.011) and DTX1 (P = 0.0001) gene expression. Our results clearly show aberrant expression of Notch genes in glioblastoma which can be used as putative biomarkers together with histopathological observation to improve diagnosis, therapeutic strategies, and patient prognosis.

Yavropoulou MP, Maladaki A, Topouridou K, et al.
Expression pattern of the Hedgehog signaling pathway in pituitary adenomas.
Neurosci Lett. 2016; 611:94-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
Several studies have demonstrated the role of Wnt and Notch signaling in the pathogenesis of pituitary adenomas, but data are scarce regarding the role of Hedgehog signaling. In this study we investigated the differential expression of gene targets of the Hedgehog signaling pathway. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens from adult patients who underwent transphenoidal resection and normal human pituitary tissues that were obtained from autopsies were used. Clinical information and data from pre-operative MRI scan (extracellular tumor extension, tumor size, displacement of the optic chiasm) were retrieved from the Hospital's database. We used a customized RT(2) Profiler PCR Array, to investigate the expression of genes related to Notch and Hedgehog signaling pathways (PTCH1, PTCH2, GLI1, GLI3, NOTCH3, JAG1, HES1, and HIP). A total of 52 pituitary adenomas (32 non-functioning adenomas, 15 somatotropinomas and 5 prolactinomas) were used in the final analysis. In non-functioning pituitary adenomas there was a significant decrease (approximately 75%) in expression of all Hedgehog related genes that were tested, while Notch3 and Jagged-1 expression was found significantly increased, compared with normal pituitary tissue controls. In contrast, somatotropinomas demonstrated a significant increase in expression of all Hedgehog related genes and a decrease in the expression of Notch3 and Jagged-1. There was no significant difference in the expression of Hedgehog and Notch related genes between prolactinomas and healthy pituitary tissues. Hedgehog signalling appears to be activated in somatotropinomas but not in non-functioning pituitary adenomas in contrast to the expression pattern of Notch signalling pathway.

De Carolis S, Bertoni S, Nati M, et al.
Carbonic Anhydrase 9 mRNA/microRNA34a Interplay in Hypoxic Human Mammospheres.
J Cell Physiol. 2016; 231(7):1534-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The hypoxic environment is a crucial component of the cancer stem cell niche and it is capable of eliciting stem cell features in cancer cells. We previously reported that SNAI2 up-regulates the expression of Carbonic Anhydrase iso-enzyme 9 (CA9) in hypoxic MCF7 cells. Here we show that SNAI2 down-regulates miR34a expression in hypoxic MCF7 cell-derived mammospheres. Next, we report on the capability of miR34a to decrease CA9 mRNA stability and CA9 protein expression. We also convey that the over-expression of cloned CA9-mRNA-3'UTR increases the mRNA half-life and protein levels of two miR34a targets JAGGED1 and NOTCH3. The data here reported shows that the SNAI2-dependent down-regulation of miR34a substantially contributes to the post-transcriptional up-regulation of CA9, and that CA9-mRNA-3'UTR acts as an endogenous microRNA sponge. We conclude that CA9/miR34 interplay shares in the hypoxic regulation of mammospheres and therefore, may play a relevant role in the hypoxic breast cancer stem cell niche.

Zhang JF, Chen Y, Qiu XX, et al.
The vascular delta-like ligand-4 (DLL4)-Notch4 signaling correlates with angiogenesis in primary glioblastoma: an immunohistochemical study.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(3):3797-805 [PubMed] Related Publications
Delta-like ligand-4 (DLL4)-Notch signaling is known to play a pivotal role in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis. We had previously found that DLL4 was overexpressed, while Notch1 receptor, which binds to DLL4 during angiogenesis, was absent in the majority of human primary glioblastomas. Thus, DLL4-Notch signaling pathway in the regulation of tumor angiogenesis in primary glioblastoma remains unknown. Tumor tissues from 70 patients with primary glioblastoma were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for expression of components of DLL4-Notch signaling, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and microvessel density (MVD). Immunohistochemistry results showed that the positive staining of DLL4 and Notch4 was primarily distributed in tumor vascular endothelial cells but rarely detected in tumor cells. However, VEGF, hairy/enhancer of split-1 (HES1; a target gene of Notch signaling), and Notch1-3 expression was seen in both tumor vascular endothelial cells and tumor cells. Univariate analysis showed that the expression levels of VEGF and DLL4, HES1, and Notch4 in tumor endothelial cells were significantly associated with MVD in primary glioblastoma (P < 0.001). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that high expression levels of DLL4, HES1, and Notch4 in tumor endothelial cells were associated with a decrease of MVD in primary glioblastoma, while MVD increased with elevated VEGF expression in contrast. In addition, DLL4, Notch4, and HES1 expression were positively correlated in tumor vascular endothelial cells (P < 0.05). We conclude that the vascular DLL4-Notch4 signaling and VEGF signaling complementing each other plays an important role in the progression of tumor angiogenesis in primary glioblastoma. Graphical abstract A, positive staining of DLL4 in human kidney; B, positive staining of VEGF in human breast cancer; C, positive staining of CD34 in human lung cancer; D, positive staining of HES1 in human breast cancer; E-H, positive staining of Notch1-4: E-F in human lung cancer; G-H in human kidney.

Han H, Du Y, Zhao W, et al.
PBX3 is targeted by multiple miRNAs and is essential for liver tumour-initiating cells.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8271 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumour-initiating cells (TICs) are advocated to constitute the sustaining force to maintain and renew fully established malignancy; however, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these properties are elusive. We previously demonstrated that voltage-gated calcium channel α2δ1 subunit marks hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) TICs. Here we confirm directly that α2δ1 is a HCC TIC surface marker, and identify let-7c, miR-200b, miR-222 and miR-424 as suppressors of α2δ1(+) HCC TICs. Interestingly, all the four miRNAs synergistically target PBX3, which is sufficient and necessary for the acquisition and maintenance of TIC properties. Moreover, PBX3 drives an essential transcriptional programme, activating the expression of genes critical for HCC TIC stemness including CACNA2D1, EpCAM, SOX2 and NOTCH3. In addition, the expression of CACNA2D1 and PBX3 mRNA is predictive of poor prognosis for HCC patients. Collectively, our study identifies an essential signalling pathway that controls the switch of HCC TIC phenotypes.

Xu J, Song F, Jin T, et al.
Prognostic values of Notch receptors in breast cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(2):1871-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Notch receptors are frequently deregulated in several human malignancies including human breast cancer. Activation of Notch has been reported to cause mammary carcinomas in mice. However, the prognostic value of individual Notch receptors in breast cancer (BC) patients remains elusive. In the current study, we investigated the prognostic value of Notch receptors in human BC patients. More specifically, we investigated the prognostic value of four Notch receptors in breast cancer patients through "the Kaplan-Meier plotter" (KM plotter) database, in which updated gene expression data and survival information are from a total of 3554 breast cancer patients. Our results showed that Notch1 messenger RNA (mRNA) high expression was correlated to worsen overall survival (OS) in PgR-negative BC patients. Notch2, Notch3, and Notch4 mRNA high expressions were found to be correlated to better OS for all breast cancer patients. Notch2 was also found to be correlated to better OS in lymph node-negative breast cancer patients and HER2-positive breast cancer patients. These results will be useful for better understanding of the heterogeneity and complexity in the molecular biology of breast cancer and for developing tools to more accurately predict their prognosis and design their customized treatment strategies.

Hassan WA, Udaka N, Ueda A, et al.
Neoplastic lesions in CADASIL syndrome: report of an autopsied Japanese case.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(6):7533-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leucoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is one of the most common heritable causes of stroke and dementia in adults. The gene involved in the pathogenesis of CADASIL is Notch3; in which mutations affect the number of cysteine residues in its extracellular domain, causing its accumulation in small arteries and arterioles of the affected individuals. Besides the usual neurological and vascular findings that have been well-documented in CADASIL patients, this paper additionally reports multiple neoplastic lesions that were observed in an autopsy case of CADASIL patient; that could be related to Notch3 mutation. The patient was a 62 years old male, presented with a past history of neurological manifestations, including gait disturbance and frequent convulsive attacks. He was diagnosed as CADASIL syndrome with Notch3 Arg133Cys mutation. He eventually developed hemiplegia and died of systemic convulsions. Autopsy examination revealed-besides the vascular and neurological lesions characteristic of CADASIL- multiple neoplastic lesions in the body; carcinoid tumorlet and diffuse idiopathic pulmonary neuro-endocrine cell hyperplasia (DIPNECH) in the lungs, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), prostatic adenocarcinoma (ADC) and adenomatoid tumor of the epididymis. This report describes a spectrum of neoplastic lesions that were found in a case of CADASIL patient that could be related to Notch3 gene mutations.

Durinck K, Van Loocke W, Van der Meulen J, et al.
Characterization of the genome-wide TLX1 binding profile in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Leukemia. 2015; 29(12):2317-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
The TLX1 transcription factor is critically involved in the multi-step pathogenesis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and often cooperates with NOTCH1 activation during malignant T-cell transformation. However, the exact molecular mechanism by which these T-cell specific oncogenes cooperate during transformation remains to be established. Here, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing to establish the genome-wide binding pattern of TLX1 in human T-ALL. This integrative genomics approach showed that ectopic TLX1 expression drives repression of T cell-specific enhancers and mediates an unexpected transcriptional antagonism with NOTCH1 at critical target genes, including IL7R and NOTCH3. These phenomena coordinately trigger a TLX1-driven pre-leukemic phenotype in human thymic precursor cells, reminiscent of the thymus regression observed in murine TLX1 tumor models, and create a strong genetic pressure for acquiring activating NOTCH1 mutations as a prerequisite for full leukemic transformation. In conclusion, our results uncover a functional antagonism between cooperative oncogenes during the earliest phases of tumor development and provide novel insights in the multi-step pathogenesis of TLX1-driven human leukemia.

Cai X, Luo J, Yang X, et al.
In vivo selection for spine-derived highly metastatic lung cancer cells is associated with increased migration, inflammation and decreased adhesion.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(26):22905-17 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
We developed a murine spine metastasis model by screening five metastatic non-small cell lung cancer cell lines (PC-9, A549, NCI-H1299, NCI-H460, H2030). A549 cells displayed the highest tendency towards spine metastases. After three rounds of selection in vivo, we isolated a clone named A549L6, which induced spine metastasis in 80% of injected mice. The parameters of the A549L6 cell spinal metastatic mouse models were consistent with clinical spine metastasis features. All the spinal metastatic mice developed symptoms of nerve compression after 40 days. A549L6 cells had increased migration, invasiveness and decreased adhesion compared to the original A549L0 cells. In contrast, there was no significant differences in cell proliferation, apoptosis and sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents such as cisplatin. Comparative transcriptomic analysis and real-time PCR analysis showed that expression of signaling molecules regulating several tumor properties including migration (MYL9), metastasis (CEACAM6, VEGFC, CX3CL1, CST1, CCL5, S100A9, IGF1, NOTCH3), adhesion (FN1, CEACAM1) and inflammation (TRAF2, NFκB2 and RelB) were altered in A549L6 cells. We suggest that migration, adhesion and inflammation related genes contribute to spine metastatic capacity.

Yuan X, Wu H, Xu H, et al.
Meta-analysis reveals the correlation of Notch signaling with non-small cell lung cancer progression and prognosis.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:10338 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
Various studies have assessed the clinicopathological and prognostic value of Notch1 and Notch3 expression in Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but their results remain controversial. This meta-analysis was conducted to address the above issues by using a total of 19 studies involving 3663 patients. The correlations between Notch1 and Notch3 expression and clinicopathological features and NSCLC prognosis were analyzed. The meta-analysis indicated that higher expression of Notch1 was associated with greater possibility of lymph node metastasis and higher TNM stages. Moreover, patients with Notch1 overexpression and Notch3 overexpression showed significantly poor overall survival (Notch1: HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.06-1.57, p = 0.468 and I(2) = 0.0%; Notch3: HR, 1.57; 95%CI, 1.04-2.36, p = 0.445 and I(2) = 0.0%). Furthermore, there are statistically significant association between overall survival of NSCLC patients and the expression of Notch signaling ligand DLL3 and target gene HES1. Our meta-analysis supports that Notch signaling is a valuable bio-marker to predict progression and targeting Notch signaling could benefit subpopulation of NSCLC patients.

Stremitzer S, Zhang W, Yang D, et al.
Variations in genes involved in dormancy associated with outcome in patients with resected colorectal liver metastases.
Ann Oncol. 2015; 26(8):1728-33 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor dormancy has been described as a state of hibernation. Dormancy can be switched to proliferation by different pathways, which may play a critical role in tumor recurrence. In this study, we investigated genetic variations within genes involved in tumor dormancy and their association with recurrence and outcome in patients with colorectal liver metastases (CLM) who underwent neoadjuvant bevacizumab-based chemotherapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from resected CLM (FFPE) from 149 patients. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 14 genes associated with dormancy were analyzed by direct Sanger DNA sequencing and evaluated for response, recurrence-free survival (RFS), overall survival (OS) and recurrence patterns.
RESULTS: NME1 rs34214448 C>A was significantly associated with RFS in univariable analysis (P = 0.039) and with intrahepatic recurrence (P = 0.014). NOTCH3 rs1044009 T>C and CD44 rs8193 C>T showed a significant difference in 3-year OS rates (P = 0.004 and P = 0.042, respectively). With respect to radiological response, CD44 rs8193 C>T variant genotypes were associated with a significantly higher response rate (P = 0.033). Recursive partitioning analyses revealed that Dll4 rs12441495 C>G, NME1 rs34214448 C>A and NOTCH3 rs1044009 T>C were the dominant SNPs predicting histological response, RFS and OS, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that gene variations within genes involved in tumor dormancy pathways are associated with response and outcome in patients with resected CLM. These data may lead to new and more effective treatment strategies targeting tumor dormancy.

Yen WC, Fischer MM, Axelrod F, et al.
Targeting Notch signaling with a Notch2/Notch3 antagonist (tarextumab) inhibits tumor growth and decreases tumor-initiating cell frequency.
Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 21(9):2084-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The Notch pathway plays an important role in both stem cell biology and cancer. Dysregulation of Notch signaling has been reported in several human tumor types. In this report, we describe the development of an antibody, OMP-59R5 (tarextumab), which blocks both Notch2 and Notch3 signaling.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We utilized patient-derived xenograft tumors to evaluate antitumor effect of OMP-59R5. Immunohistochemistry, RNA microarray, real-time PCR, and in vivo serial transplantation assays were employed to investigate the mechanisms of action and pharmacodynamic readouts.
RESULTS: We found that anti-Notch2/3, either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents was efficacious in a broad spectrum of epithelial tumors, including breast, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Notably, the sensitivity of anti-Notch2/3 in combination with gemcitabine in pancreatic tumors was associated with higher levels of Notch3 gene expression. The antitumor effect of anti-Notch2/3 in combination with gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel was greater than the combination effect with gemcitabine alone. OMP-59R5 inhibits both human and mouse Notch2 and Notch3 function and its antitumor activity was characterized by a dual mechanism of action in both tumor and stromal/vascular cells in xenograft experiments. In tumor cells, anti-Notch2/3 inhibited expression of Notch target genes and reduced tumor-initiating cell frequency. In the tumor stroma, OMP-59R5 consistently inhibited the expression of Notch3, HeyL, and Rgs5, characteristic of affecting pericyte function in tumor vasculature.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that blockade of Notch2/3 signaling with this cross-reactive antagonist antibody may be an effective strategy for treatment of a variety of tumor types.

Sanguinetti A, Santini D, Bonafè M, et al.
Interleukin-6 and pro inflammatory status in the breast tumor microenvironment.
World J Surg Oncol. 2015; 13:129 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Greater than 50,000 new cases of breast cancer cases were diagnosed in Italy during 2013, with nearly 15,000 women succumbing to the disease. These epidemiological statistics highlight the overwhelming clinical dilemma of breast cancer and emphasize the need for novel therapeutic targets and prevention strategies. Countless studies in the fields of mammary gland development and breast cancer have led to an appreciation of a breast tumor microenvironment that actively contributes to the heterogeneous nature of breast cancer.
METHODS: The current review will focus on the impact of IL-6 and in the breast tumor microenvironment. Excessive IL-6 has been demonstrated in primary breast tumors and breast cancer patient sera and is associated with poor clinical outcomes in breast cancer. These clinical associations are corroborated by emerging preclinical data revealing that IL-6 is a potent growth factor and promotes an epithelial-mesenchyme (EMT) phenotype in breast cancer cells to indicate that IL-6 in the breast tumor microenvironment is clinically relevant.
RESULTS: High serum levels of interleukin-6 correlate with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. However, few data are yet available on the relationship between IL-6 and stem/progenitor cells, which may fuel the genesis of breast cancer in vivo. Mammospheres (MS) from node invasive breast carcinoma tissues express IL-6 mRNA at higher levels than MS from matched non-neoplastic mammary glands. IL-6 mRNA is detectable only in basal-like breast carcinoma tissues; our results reveal that IL-6 triggers a Notch-3-dependent upregulation of the Notch ligand Jagged-1, whose interaction with Notch-3 promotes the growth of MS and Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7)-derived spheroids. IL-6 induces a Notch-3-dependent upregulation of the carbonic anhydrase IX gene and promotes a hypoxia-resistant/invasive phenotype in MCF-7 cells and MS.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, our data support the hypothesis that IL-6 induces malignant features in Notch-3-expressing, stem/progenitor cells from human ductal breast carcinoma and normal mammary gland.

Carvalho FL, Marchionni L, Gupta A, et al.
HES6 promotes prostate cancer aggressiveness independently of Notch signalling.
J Cell Mol Med. 2015; 19(7):1624-36 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
Notch signalling is implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of cancers, but its role in prostate cancer is poorly understood. However, selected Notch pathway members are overrepresented in high-grade prostate cancers. We comprehensively profiled Notch pathway components in prostate cells and found prostate cancer-specific up-regulation of NOTCH3 and HES6. Their expression was particularly high in androgen responsive lines. Up- and down-regulating Notch in these cells modulated expression of canonical Notch targets, HES1 and HEY1, which could also be induced by androgen. Surprisingly, androgen treatment also suppressed Notch receptor expression, suggesting that androgens can activate Notch target genes in a receptor-independent manner. Using a Notch-sensitive Recombination signal binding protein for immunoglobulin kappa J region (RBPJ) reporter assay, we found that basal levels of Notch signalling were significantly lower in prostate cancer cells compared to benign cells. Accordingly pharmacological Notch pathway blockade did not inhibit cancer cell growth or viability. In contrast to canonical Notch targets, HES6, a HES family member known to antagonize Notch signalling, was not regulated by Notch signalling, but relied instead on androgen levels, both in cultured cells and in human cancer tissues. When engineered into prostate cancer cells, reduced levels of HES6 resulted in reduced cancer cell invasion and clonogenic growth. By molecular profiling, we identified potential roles for HES6 in regulating hedgehog signalling, apoptosis and cell migration. Our results did not reveal any cell-autonomous roles for canonical Notch signalling in prostate cancer. However, the results do implicate HES6 as a promoter of prostate cancer progression.

Lai IC, Shih PH, Yao CJ, et al.
Elimination of cancer stem-like cells and potentiation of temozolomide sensitivity by Honokiol in glioblastoma multiforme cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0114830 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common adult malignant glioma with poor prognosis due to the resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which might be critically involved in the repopulation of cancer stem cells (CSCs) after treatment. We had investigated the characteristics of cancer stem-like side population (SP) cells sorted from GBM cells, and studied the effect of Honokiol targeting on CSCs. GBM8401 SP cells possessed the stem cell markers, such as nestin, CD133 and Oct4, and the expressions of self-renewal related stemness genes, such as SMO, Notch3 and IHH (Indian Hedgehog). Honokiol inhibited the proliferation of both GBM8401 parental cells and SP cells in a dose-dependent manner, the IC50 were 5.3±0.72 and 11±1.1 μM, respectively. The proportions of SP in GBM8401 cells were diminished by Honokiol from 1.5±0.22% down to 0.3±0.02% and 0.2±0.01% at doses of 2.5 μM and 5 μM, respectively. The SP cells appeared to have higher expression of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) and be more resistant to Temozolomide (TMZ). The resistance to TMZ could be only slightly reversed by MGMT inhibitor O6-benzylguanine (O6-BG), but markedly further enhanced by Honokiol addition. Such significant enhancement was accompanied with the higher induction of apoptosis, greater down-regulation of Notch3 as well as its downstream Hes1 expressions in SP cells. Our data indicate that Honokiol might have clinical benefits for the GBM patients who are refractory to TMZ treatment.

Shen Z, Hou X, Chen B, et al.
NOTCH3 gene polymorphism is associated with the prognosis of gliomas in Chinese patients.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2015; 94(9):e482 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
Recent studies show that NOTCH3 is involved in the glioma development and it is also a prognostic factor for glioma patients. However, the gene polymorphism of NOTCH3 in gliomas prognosis remains unknown.A total of 266 patients were enrolled into this study. The NOTCH3 gene polymorphism at 3 loci, including C>T polymorphism at nucleotide 381, C>A polymorphism at 474 and G>A polymorphism at 684 were determined. All patients received the surgical treatment and/or chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.We found that the 684G>A polymorphism affects the tumor NOTCH3 expression level and is closely associated with a higher tumor grade, poorer tumor differentiation, and karnofsky performance score in these glioma patients. More importantly, the 684G>A polymorphism is significantly associated with the prognosis of these patients regardless of their treatment manner.Our study indicates that the NOTCH3 gene 684G>A polymorphism may be used as a prognosis marker for gliomas.

Mao F, Xu M, Zuo X, et al.
15-Lipoxygenase-1 suppression of colitis-associated colon cancer through inhibition of the IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway.
FASEB J. 2015; 29(6):2359-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 14/03/2017 Related Publications
The IL-6/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway is a critical signaling pathway for colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CAC). Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-δ, a lipid nuclear receptor, up-regulates IL-6. 15-Lipoxygenase-1 (15-LOX-1), which is crucial to production of lipid signaling mediators to terminate inflammation, down-regulates PPAR-δ. 15-LOX-1 effects on IL-6/STAT3 signaling and CAC tumorigenesis have not been determined. We report that intestinally targeted transgenic 15-LOX-1 expression in mice inhibited azoxymethane- and dextran sodium sulfate-induced CAC, IL-6 expression, STAT3 phosphorylation, and IL-6/STAT3 downstream target (Notch3 and MUC1) expression. 15-LOX-1 down-regulation was associated with IL-6 up-regulation in human colon cancer mucosa. Reexpression of 15-LOX-1 in human colon cancer cells suppressed IL-6 mRNA expression, STAT3 phosphorylation, IL-6 promoter activity, and PPAR-δ mRNA and protein expression. PPAR-δ overexpression in colonic epithelial cells promoted CAC tumorigenesis in mice and increased IL-6 expression and STAT3 phosphorylation, whereas concomitant 15-LOX-1 expression in colonic epithelial cells (15-LOX-1-PPAR-δ-Gut mice) suppressed these effects: the number of tumors per mouse (mean ± sem) was 4.22 ± 0.68 in wild-type littermates, 6.67 ± 0.83 in PPAR-δ-Gut mice (P = 0.026), and 2.25 ± 0.25 in 15-LOX-1-PPAR-δ-Gut mice (P = 0.0006). Identification of 15-LOX-1 suppression of PPAR-δ to inhibit IL-6/STAT3 signaling-driven CAC tumorigenesis provides mechanistic insights that can be used to molecularly target CAC.

Villanueva A, Portela A, Sayols S, et al.
DNA methylation-based prognosis and epidrivers in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Hepatology. 2015; 61(6):1945-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Epigenetic deregulation has emerged as a driver in human malignancies. There is no clear understanding of the epigenetic alterations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and of the potential role of DNA methylation markers as prognostic biomarkers. Analysis of tumor tissue from 304 patients with HCC treated with surgical resection allowed us to generate a methylation-based prognostic signature using a training-validation scheme. Methylome profiling was done with the Illumina HumanMethylation450 array (Illumina, Inc., San Diego, CA), which covers 96% of known cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) islands and 485,000 CpG, and transcriptome profiling was performed with Affymetrix Human Genome U219 Plate (Affymetrix, Inc., Santa Clara, CA) and miRNA Chip 2.0. Random survival forests enabled us to generate a methylation signature based on 36 methylation probes. We computed a risk score of mortality for each individual that accurately discriminated patient survival both in the training (221 patients; 47% hepatitis C-related HCC) and validation sets (n = 83; 47% alcohol-related HCC). This signature correlated with known predictors of poor outcome and retained independent prognostic capacity of survival along with multinodularity and platelet count. The subset of patients identified by this signature was enriched in the molecular subclass of proliferation with progenitor cell features. The study confirmed a high prevalence of genes known to be deregulated by aberrant methylation in HCC (e.g., Ras association [RalGDS/AF-6] domain family member 1, insulin-like growth factor 2, and adenomatous polyposis coli) and other solid tumors (e.g., NOTCH3) and describes potential candidate epidrivers (e.g., septin 9 and ephrin B2).
CONCLUSIONS: A validated signature of 36 DNA methylation markers accurately predicts poor survival in patients with HCC. Patients with this methylation profile harbor messenger RNA-based signatures indicating tumors with progenitor cell features.

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