Gene Summary

Gene:NOTCH4; notch receptor 4
Aliases: INT3
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the NOTCH family of proteins. Members of this Type I 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 signaling is an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway that regulates interactions between physically adjacent cells through binding of Notch family receptors to their cognate ligands. The encoded preproprotein is proteolytically processed in the trans-Golgi network to generate two polypeptide chains that heterodimerize to form the mature cell-surface receptor. This receptor may play a role in vascular, renal and hepatic development. Mutations in this gene may be associated with schizophrenia. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants, at least one of which encodes an isoform that is proteolytically processed. [provided by RefSeq, Jan 2016]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:neurogenic locus notch homolog protein 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: NOTCH4 (cancer-related)

McClements L, Annett S, Yakkundi A, et al.
FKBPL and its peptide derivatives inhibit endocrine therapy resistant cancer stem cells and breast cancer metastasis by downregulating DLL4 and Notch4.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):351 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Optimising breast cancer treatment remains a challenge. Resistance to therapy is a major problem in both ER- and ER+ breast cancer. Tumour recurrence after chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy leads to more aggressive tumours with enhanced metastatic ability. Self-renewing cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been implicated in treatment resistance, recurrence and the development of metastatic disease.
METHODS: In this study, we utilised in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo breast cancer models using ER+ MCF-7 and ER- MDA-MB-231 cells, as well as solid and metastatic breast cancer patient samples, to interrogate the effects of FKBPL and its peptide therapeutics on metastasis, endocrine therapy resistant CSCs and DLL4 and Notch4 expression. The effects of FKBPL overexpression or peptide treatment were assessed using a t-test or one-way ANOVA with Dunnett's multiple comparison test.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that FKBPL overexpression or treatment with FKBPL-based therapeutics (AD-01, pre-clinical peptide /ALM201, clinical peptide) inhibit i) CSCs in both ER+ and ER- breast cancer, ii) cancer metastasis in a triple negative breast cancer metastasis model and iii) endocrine therapy resistant CSCs in ER+ breast cancer, via modulation of the DLL4 and Notch4 protein and/or mRNA expression. AD-01 was effective at reducing triple negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell migration (n ≥ 3, p < 0.05) and invasion (n ≥ 3, p < 0.001) and this was translated in vivo where AD-01 inhibited breast cancer metastasis in MDA-MB-231-lucD3H1 in vivo model (p < 0.05). In ER+ MCF-7 cells and primary breast tumour samples, we demonstrated that ALM201 inhibits endocrine therapy resistant mammospheres, representative of CSC content (n ≥ 3, p < 0.05). Whilst an in vivo limiting dilution assay, using SCID mice, demonstrated that ALM201 alone or in combination with tamoxifen was very effective at delaying tumour recurrence by 12 (p < 0.05) or 21 days (p < 0.001), respectively, by reducing the number of CSCs. The potential mechanism of action, in addition to CD44, involves downregulation of DLL4 and Notch4.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates, for the first time, the pre-clinical activity of novel systemic anti-cancer therapeutic peptides, ALM201 and AD-01, in the metastatic setting, and highlights their impact on endocrine therapy resistant CSCs; both areas of unmet clinical need.

Wang Y, Yang R, Wang X, et al.
Evaluation of the correlation of vasculogenic mimicry, Notch4, DLL4, and KAI1/CD82 in the prediction of metastasis and prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2018; 97(52):e13817 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) is a new blood supply style in tumors and has long been treated as a useful factor in malignant tumor metastasis and prognosis. Notch4 (a marker of Notch signaling pathway receptors), DLL4 (a marker of Notch signaling pathway ligands) and KAI1/CD82 (a suppressor gene of tumor metastasis) are all effective predictive factors for tumor metastasis. In this study, we analyzed correlations among VM, Notch4, DLL4, and KAI1/CD82 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and their respective associations with patients' clinicopathological parameters and survival rate in NSCLC.Positive rates of VM, Notch4, DLL4, and KAI1/CD82 in 189 whole NSCLC specimens were detected by histochemical and immunohistochemical staining. Moreover, patients' clinicopathological information was also collected.Positive rates of VM, Notch4, and DLL4 were significantly higher, and levels of KAI1/CD82 were significantly lower in NSCLC than in normal lung tissues. Positive rates of VM, Notch4, and DLL4 were positively associated with tumor size, lymph node metastasis (LNM), distant metastasis (DM) and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage, and inversely with patients, overall survival (OS) time and positive rate of DLL4 were positively associated with tumor grade. Levels of KAI1/CD82 were negatively associated with tumor size, LNM, DM, and TNM stage. The KAI1/CD82+ subgroup had significantly longer OS time than did the KAI1/CD82- subgroup. In multivariate analysis, high VM, Notch4, DLL4 levels, tumor size, LNM, DM, TNM stage, and low KAI1/CD82 levels were potential to be independent prognostic factors for overall survival time (OST) in NSCLC patients.VM and the expression of Notch4, DLL4, and KAI1/CD82 represent promising markers for tumor metastasis and prognosis, and maybe potential therapeutic targets for NSCLC.

Lu Y, Kweon SS, Tanikawa C, et al.
Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Study of East Asians Identifies Loci Associated With Risk for Colorectal Cancer.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(5):1455-1466 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have associated approximately 50 loci with risk of colorectal cancer (CRC)-nearly one third of these loci were initially associated with CRC in studies conducted in East Asian populations. We conducted a GWAS of East Asians to identify CRC risk loci and evaluate the generalizability of findings from GWASs of European populations to Asian populations.
METHODS: We analyzed genetic data from 22,775 patients with CRC (cases) and 47,731 individuals without cancer (controls) from 14 studies in the Asia Colorectal Cancer Consortium. First, we performed a meta-analysis of 7 GWASs (10,625 cases and 34,595 controls) and identified 46,554 promising risk variants for replication by adding them to the Multi-Ethnic Global Array (MEGA) for genotype analysis in 6445 cases and 7175 controls. These data were analyzed, along with data from an additional 5705 cases and 5961 controls genotyped using the OncoArray. We also obtained data from 57,976 cases and 67,242 controls of European descent. Variants at identified risk loci were functionally annotated and evaluated in correlation with gene expression levels.
RESULTS: A meta-analyses of all samples from people of Asian descent identified 13 loci and 1 new variant at a known locus (10q24.2) associated with risk of CRC at the genome-wide significance level of P < 5 × 10
CONCLUSIONS: We showed that most of the risk loci previously associated with CRC risk in individuals of European descent were also associated with CRC risk in East Asians. Furthermore, we identified 13 loci significantly associated with risk for CRC in Asians. Many of these loci contained genes that regulate the immune response, Wnt signaling to β-catenin, prostaglandin E2 catabolism, and cell pluripotency and proliferation. Further analyses of these genes and their variants is warranted, particularly for the 8 loci for which the lead CRC risk variants were not replicated in persons of European descent.

Cui M, Hu Y, Bi Y, et al.
Preliminary exploration of potential molecular therapeutic targets in recurrent and metastatic parathyroid carcinomas.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(3):525-532 [PubMed] Related Publications
Parathyroid carcinoma (PC) is a rare endocrine malignancy. Surgical resection is curative for local lesions, while effective therapies are lacking for recurrent or metastatic PCs. To study whether targeted therapies could be applied in recurrent or metastatic PCs, potential therapeutic targets were identified with next-generation sequencing (NGS). DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections from 19 recurrent or metastatic PC samples. A panel of 560 genes was sequenced with NGS to identify genomic alterations at an average sequencing depth of 581×. In total, 190 genomic alterations were identified. Nine PC samples (47%) harbored at least one potentially actionable genomic alteration including in the after genes: ROS1 (5/19; 26%), PTEN (3/19; 16%), TSC1 (2/19; 11%), PIK3CA (1/19; 5%), AKT1 (1/19; 5%), MTOR (1/19; 5%), ERBB2 (1/19; 5%), NTRK1 (1/19; 5%), IDH1 (1/19; 5%) and FGFR3 (1/19; 5%). CDC73 mutations were detected in 9/19 (47%) PC samples. Additional recurrent genomic alterations were identified in MSH2 (15/19; 79%), AR (9/19; 47%), BCR (8/19; 42%), SLC45A3 (6/19; 32%), MAGI1 (5/19; 26%), ZNF521 (4/19; 21%), KMT2C (4/19; 21%) and NOTCH4 (4/19; 21%). Our study identified a relatively high frequency of potentially actionable genomic alterations in PC patients in a Chinese population for the first time. A series of recurrent mutant genes was detected as well. Our study contributes to both the selection of novel targeted therapies for PC and further molecular understanding of this refractory malignancy.

Ko YS, Jin H, Lee JS, et al.
Radioresistant breast cancer cells exhibit increased resistance to chemotherapy and enhanced invasive properties due to cancer stem cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 40(6):3752-3762 [PubMed] Related Publications
Previous studies suggest that cancer stem cells (CSCs) exist in solid tumors, and contribute to therapeutic resistance and disease recurrence. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate whether radioresistant (RT‑R) breast cancer cells derived from breast cancer cells increase the number of CSCs, and whether these CSCs are responsible to increased invasiveness and therapeutic resistance. MCF‑7, T47D and MDA‑MB‑231 cells were irradiated 25 times (2 Gy each; 50 Gy total) to generate radioresistant breast cancer cells (RT‑R‑MCF‑7, RT‑R‑T47D and RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231). RT‑R‑breast cancer cells demonstrated increased cell viability against irradiation and increased colony forming abilities compared with parental breast cancer cells. Particularly, RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells derived from highly metastatic MDA‑MB‑231 cells exhibited most radioresistance and chemoresistance of the three cell lines. In addition, MDA‑MB‑231 cells exhibited the most increased protein levels of CSCs markers cluster of differentiation 44, Notch‑4, octamer‑binding transcription factor 3/4 and aldehyde dehydrogenase 1, compared with RT‑R‑MCF‑7 cells, suggesting highly metastatic breast cancer cells MDA‑MB‑231 produce more CSCs. RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells increased intercellular adhesion molecule‑1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule‑1 levels, resulting in enhanced migration and adhesion to endothelial cells (ECs), and enhanced invasiveness through ECs by inducing matrix metalloproteinase‑9, Snail‑1 and β‑catenin, and by downregulating E‑cadherin compared with MDA‑MB‑231 cells. These results suggest that highly metastatic breast cancer cells may increase the number of CSCs following radiation therapy, and CSCs present in RT‑R‑MDA‑MB‑231 cells contribute to the enhanced invasiveness by increasing migration, adhesion to ECs and invasion through ECs by promoting epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) via the upregulation of adhesion molecules and EMT‑associated proteins.

Liang X, Vacher S, Boulai A, et al.
Targeted next-generation sequencing identifies clinically relevant somatic mutations in a large cohort of inflammatory breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2018; 20(1):88 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is the most aggressive form of primary breast cancer. Using a custom-made breast cancer gene sequencing panel, we investigated somatic mutations in IBC to better understand the genomic differences compared with non-IBC and to consider new targeted therapy in IBC patients.
METHODS: Targeted next-generation sequencing (NGS) of 91 candidate breast cancer-associated genes was performed on 156 fresh-frozen breast tumor tissues from IBC patients. Mutational profiles from 197 primary breast tumors from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) were used as non-IBC controls for comparison analysis. The mutational landscape of IBC was correlated with clinicopathological data and outcomes.
RESULTS: After genotype calling and algorithmic annotations, we identified 392 deleterious variants in IBC and 320 variants in non-IBC cohorts, respectively. IBC tumors harbored more mutations than non-IBC (2.5 per sample vs. 1.6 per sample, p < 0.0001). Eighteen mutated genes were significantly different between the two cohorts, namely TP53, CDH1, NOTCH2, MYH9, BRCA2, ERBB4, POLE, FGFR3, ROS1, NOTCH4, LAMA2, EGFR, BRCA1, TP53BP1, ESR1, THBS1, CASP8, and NOTCH1. In IBC, the most frequently mutated genes were TP53 (43.0%), PIK3CA (29.5%), MYH9 (8.3%), NOTCH2 (8.3%), BRCA2 (7.7%), ERBB4 (7.1%), FGFR3 (6.4%), POLE (6.4%), LAMA2 (5.8%), ARID1A (5.1%), NOTCH4 (5.1%), and ROS1 (5.1%). After grouping 91 genes on 10 signaling pathways, we found that the DNA repair pathway for the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subgroup, the RTK/RAS/MAPK and cell cycle pathways for the HR
CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer-specific targeted NGS uncovered a high frequency of deleterious somatic mutations in IBC, some of which may be relevant for clinical management.

Pei L, He X, Li S, et al.
KRAB zinc-finger protein 382 regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and functions as a tumor suppressor, but is silenced by CpG methylation in gastric cancer.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(3):961-972 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Several studies have recently reported that KRAB zinc finger protein 382 (ZNF382) is downregulated in multiple carcinoma types due to promoter methylation. The exact role of ZNF382 in gastric carcinogenesis, however, remains elusive. In this study, we investigated the alterations and functions of ZNF382 in the pathogenesis of gastric cancer (GC). Semi-quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative (real-time) PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry were carried out to detect the expression patterns of ZNF382 in GC cell lines and gastric tissue samples. Furthermore, its methylation status in GC cell lines, tumor tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues was detected by methylation-specific PCR (MSP). We observed that ZNF382 was silenced due to promoter methylation in MKN45 and SGC7901 cell lines, and that its silencing could be reversed with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine, indicating that its downregulation in GC is due to promoter methylation. In addition, the ectopic expression of ZNF382 significantly inhibited gastric tumor cell clonogenicity, proliferation, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) through the induction of apoptosis. ZNF382 expression downregulated the expression of SNAIL, Vimentin, Twist, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, HES-1, JAG1, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)2 and MMP11, as well as that of the stem cell markers, NANOG, octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) and SOX2. ZNF382 also upregulated the expression of E-cadherin. On the whole, the findings of this study suggest that ZNF382 functions as a tumor suppressor in GC cells, but is frequently methylated in both GC cell lines and primary gastric tumors. ZNF382 can reverse the EMT process in GC cells through NOTCH signaling. Our findings further illustrate the molecular pathogenesis of GC and establish potential biomarkers for this type of cancer.

Jarzabek MA, Proctor WR, Vogt J, et al.
Interrogation of transcriptomic changes associated with drug-induced hepatic sinusoidal dilatation in colorectal cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0198099 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Drug-related sinusoidal dilatation (SD) is a common form of hepatotoxicity associated with oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy used prior to resection of colorectal liver metastases (CRLM). Recently, hepatic SD has also been associated with anti-delta like 4 (DLL4) cancer therapies targeting the NOTCH pathway. To investigate the hypothesis that NOTCH signaling plays an important role in drug-induced SD, gene expression changes were examined in livers from anti-DLL4 and oxaliplatin-induced SD in non-human primate (NHP) and patients, respectively. Putative mechanistic biomarkers of bevacizumab (bev)-mediated protection against oxaliplatin-induced SD were also investigated. RNA was extracted from whole liver sections or centrilobular regions by laser-capture microdissection (LCM) obtained from NHP administered anti-DLL4 fragment antigen-binding (F(ab')2 or patients with CRLM receiving oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy with or without bev. mRNA expression was quantified using high-throughput real-time quantitative PCR. Significance analysis was used to identify genes with differential expression patterns (false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05). Eleven (CCL2, CCND1, EFNB2, ERG, ICAM1, IL16, LFNG, NOTCH1, NOTCH4, PRDX1, and TGFB1) and six (CDH5, EFNB2, HES1, IL16, MIK67, HES1 and VWF) candidate genes were differentially expressed in the liver of anti-DLL4- and oxaliplatin-induced SD, respectively. Addition of bev to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy resulted in differential changes in hepatic CDH5, HEY1, IL16, JAG1, MMP9, NOTCH4 and TIMP1 expression. This work implicates NOTCH and IL16 pathways in the pathogenesis of drug-induced SD and further explains the hepato-protective effect of bev in oxaliplatin-induced SD observed in CRLM patients.

Xie M, Wei S, Wu X, et al.
Alterations of Notch pathway in patients with adenoid cystic carcinoma of the trachea and its impact on survival.
Lung Cancer. 2018; 121:41-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) of the trachea lacks of well-characterized molecular markers. There is currently no specific treatment for metastatic ACC of the trachea. This study aimed to identify genomic mutations of Notch pathway and investigate the efficacy of NOTCH inhibitor in ACC of the trachea.
METHODS: 73 Patients with ACC of the trachea at four institutions from 2008 to 2016 were identified. Analysis of hotspot mutations in cancer-related genes of Notch pathway was performed using next generation sequencing. Gene-expression and functional analyses were performed to study the mechanism of activation through mutation. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression models were used to predict overall survival (OS). Patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models were established and treated with NOTCH inhibitor Brontictuzumab.
RESULTS: Gain-of-function mutations of the NOTCH1 gene occurred in 12 (16.4%) tumors, leading to stabilization of the intracellular cleaved form of NOTCH1 (ICN1). NOTCH1 mutation was associated with increased NOTCH1 activation and its target gene HES1. Mutations in NOTCH2 (3/73), NOTCH4 (2/73), JAG1 (1/73) and FBXW7 (2/73) were also identified in 8 (11.0%) patients. A strong inverse correlation of expression was observed between FBXW7 and HES1. NOTCH1 mutation was associated with solid subtype (P = 0.02), younger age at diagnosis (P = 0.041) and shorter overall survival (OS) (P = 0.017). NOTCH1 mutation was not an independent prognostic factor in the presence of histologic subtype and resection margin. Brontictuzumab significantly reduced tumor growth in NOTCH1-mutated PDX.
CONCLUSION: NOTCH1 mutation is associated with activation of Notch pathway in ACC of the trachea. NOTCH1 is a potential target for therapeutic intervention in patients with ACC of the trachea.

Hu ZY, Xie N, Tian C, et al.
Identifying Circulating Tumor DNA Mutation Profiles in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients with Multiline Resistance.
EBioMedicine. 2018; 32:111-118 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
PURPOSE: In cancer patients, tumor gene mutations contribute to drug resistance and treatment failure. In patients with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), these mutations increase after multiline treatment, thereby decreasing treatment efficiency. The aim of this study was to evaluate gene mutation patterns in MBC patients to predict drug resistance and disease progression.
METHOD: A total of 68 MBC patients who had received multiline treatment were recruited. Circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) mutations were evaluated and compared among hormone receptor (HR)/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) subgroups.
RESULTS: The baseline gene mutation pattern (at the time of recruitment) varied among HR/HER2 subtypes. BRCA1 and MED12 were frequently mutated in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients, PIK3CA and FAT1 mutations were frequent in HR+ patients, and PIK3CA and ERBB2 mutations were frequent in HER2+ patients. Gene mutation patterns also varied in patients who progressed within either 3 months or 3-6 months of chemotherapy treatment. For example, in HR+ patients who progressed within 3 months of treatment, the frequency of TERT mutations significantly increased. Other related mutations included FAT1 and NOTCH4. In HR+ patients who progressed within 3-6 months, PIK3CA, TP53, MLL3, ERBB2, NOTCH2, and ERS1 were the candidate mutations. This suggests that different mechanisms underlie disease progression at different times after treatment initiation. In the COX model, the ctDNA TP53 + PIK3CA gene mutation pattern successfully predicted progression within 6 months.
CONCLUSION: ctDNA gene mutation profiles differed among HR/HER2 subtypes of MBC patients. By identifying mutations associated with treatment resistance, we hope to improve therapy selection for MBC patients who received multiline treatment.

Gelsomino L, Panza S, Giordano C, et al.
Mutations in the estrogen receptor alpha hormone binding domain promote stem cell phenotype through notch activation in breast cancer cell lines.
Cancer Lett. 2018; 428:12-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
The detection of recurrent mutations affecting the hormone binding domain (HBD) of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα/ESR1) in endocrine therapy-resistant and metastatic breast cancers has prompted interest in functional characterization of these genetic alterations. Here, we explored the role of HBD-ESR1 mutations in influencing the behavior of breast cancer stem cells (BCSCs), using various BC cell lines stably expressing wild-type or mutant (Y537 N, Y537S, D538G) ERα. Compared to WT-ERα clones, mutant cells showed increased CD44

Fukusumi T, Guo TW, Sakai A, et al.
Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 24(3):619-633 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications

Almodovar K, Iams WT, Meador CB, et al.
Longitudinal Cell-Free DNA Analysis in Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer Reveals Dynamic Insights into Treatment Efficacy and Disease Relapse.
J Thorac Oncol. 2018; 13(1):112-123 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Patients with SCLC have a poor prognosis and limited treatment options. Because access to longitudinal tumor samples is very limited in patients with this disease, we chose to focus our studies on the characterization of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) for rapid, noninvasive monitoring of disease burden.
METHODS: We developed a liquid biopsy assay that quantifies somatic variants in cfDNA. The assay detects single nucleotide variants, copy number alterations, and insertions or deletions in 14 genes that are frequently mutated in SCLC, including tumor protein p53 gene (TP53), retinoblastoma 1 gene (RB1), BRAF, KIT proto-oncogene receptor tyrosine kinase gene (KIT), notch 1 gene (NOTCH1), notch 2 gene (NOTCH2), notch 3 gene (NOTCH3), notch 4 gene (NOTCH4), phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase catalytic subunit alpha gene (PIK3CA), phosphatase and tensin homolog gene (PTEN), fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 gene (FGFR1), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog gene (MYC), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene lung carcinoma derived homolog gene (MYCL1), and v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene neuroblastoma derived homolog gene (MYCN).
RESULTS: Over the course of 26 months of peripheral blood collection, we examined 140 plasma samples from 27 patients. We detected disease-associated mutations in 85% of patient samples with mutant allele frequencies ranging from 0.1% to 87%. In our cohort, 59% of the patients had extensive-stage disease, and the most common mutations occurred in TP53 (70%) and RB1 (52%). In addition to mutations in TP53 and RB1, we detected alterations in 10 additional genes in our patient population (PTEN, NOTCH1, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, NOTCH4, MYC, MYCL1, PIK3CA, KIT, and BRAF). The observed allele frequencies and copy number alterations tracked closely with treatment responses. Notably, in several cases analysis of cfDNA provided evidence of disease relapse before conventional imaging.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that liquid biopsies are readily applicable in patients with SCLC and can potentially provide improved monitoring of disease burden, depth of response to treatment, and timely warning of disease relapse in patients with this disease.

Han JJ, Du BR, Zhang CH
Bioinformatic analysis of prognostic value of ARAP3 in breast cancer and the associated signaling pathways.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2017; 21(10):2405-2412 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: In this study, we tried to pool previous annotated genomic data to assess the association between ARAP3 expression and metastatic relapse (MR) risk in patients with breast cancer. Moreover, we also investigated the signaling pathways in which ARAP3 might be involved in breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The raw microarray data (GDS5666) that compared gene transcriptional profiles of 4T1 derived lung-aggressive explant and primary tumor explant were reanalyzed to identify the dysregulated genes. ARAP3 mRNA expression, its association with MR-free survival and its co-upregulated genes in breast cancer, were studied by data mining in TCGA database and Breast Cancer Gene-Expression Miner Version 4.0 (bc-GenExMiner 4.0).
RESULTS: ARAP3 is a significantly upregulated gene in the metastatic breast tumor cells. The ER- patients with high ARAP3 expression had significantly increased the risk of MR, regardless of the nodal status. Patients in ER-/Nm group with high ARAP3 expression had the highest risk of MR (HR: 1.25; 95%CI: 1.10-1.41, p<0.001). In patients with basal-like tumors, High ARAP3 level is associated with significantly worse MR-free survival (HR: 1.63, 95%CI: 1.22-2.19, p=0.001). ARAP3 might be closely related to the NOTCH4 and CDH5 signaling pathways in breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: The expression level of ARAP3 might be a useful indicator of the metastatic likelihood of the basal-like breast tumors. ARAP3 might be involved in NOTCH4 and CDH5 related signaling pathways, but the underlying mechanism should be further studied.

Yu T, Han C, Zhu G, et al.
Prognostic value of Notch receptors in postsurgical patients with hepatitis B virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Med. 2017; 6(7):1587-1600 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most prevalent malignancies and a major cause of cancer involved death worldwide. Prognosis remains poor because of high recurrence rates and lack of effective relapse prevention strategies. Notch pathway plays an important role in tumor progression and metastasis, and it is associated with the prognosis of cancer. A total of 465 hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related HCC patients who underwent surgery were enrolled. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of Notch pathway receptors were genotyped using Sanger DNA sequencing. Kaplan-Meier curves and the Cox proportional hazards regression model were adopted to analyze the association of polymorphisms and mRNA expression with clinical and pathological features, respectively. Four SNPs (rs1043996 in Notch3 and rs422951, rs520692, rs3830041 in Notch4) were significantly associated with overall survival (OS) (P = 0.023, P = 0.042, P = 0.028, and P = 0.001 respectively). Patients carrying the AA genotype in rs1043996 and TT/TC genotypes in rs422951 and rs520692 significantly decreased risks of death, compared to those carrying the AG/GG genotype in rs1043996 and CC genotype in rs422951 and rs520692, respectively. Patients carrying the TT genotype in rs3830041 showed poorer OS, compared with those carrying the TC/CC genotype. A haplotype block (rs422951 was in strong LD with rs520692, r

Chen C, Wang X, Huang S, et al.
Prognostic roles of Notch receptor mRNA expression in human ovarian cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(20):32731-32740 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Aberrant activation of Notch signaling pathway has been correlated with high grade ovarian carcinoma and carcinogenesis. However, the predictive and prognostic values of Notch signaling pathway in ovarian cancer patients remains unclear. We utilize "The Kaplan-Meier plotter" (KM plotter) background database to access the prognostic values including overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), as well as post-progression survival (PPS) of four Notch receptor mRNA expression in ovarian cancer patients. Notch1 mRNA high expression was not correlated with OS, PFS and PPS for all ovarian cancer patients, but significantly correlated with poor PFS in TP53 wild type and favorite PFS in TP53 mutation type ovarian cancer patients. Notch2 mRNA high expression was significantly correlated with poor PFS for all ovarian cancer patients, especially in grade II patients. Notch3 mRNA high expression was significantly correlated with favorite PFS for all ovarian cancer patients. Notch4 mRNA high expression was significantly correlated with favorite OS, but not PFS and PPS for all ovarian cancer patients. The results strongly support that there are distinct prognostic values of four Notch receptor mRNA expression in ovarian cancer patients.

Zhang J, Kuang Y, Wang Y, et al.
Notch-4 silencing inhibits prostate cancer growth and EMT via the NF-κB pathway.
Apoptosis. 2017; 22(6):877-884 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is implicated in the metastasis of human prostate cancer (PCa). Notch signaling has been established as a regulator of EMT. Notch-4 has emerged as a mammary proto-oncogene and a target in several cancers. However, the role and the mechanism of action of Notch-4 in PCa are still unclear. In the present study, we first observed a marked increase in Notch-4 expression in the PCa cell lines DU145, PC3 and LnCAP compared with the non-malignant prostate epithelial cell line RWPE1. Knocking down the expression of Notch-4 suppressed the viability and proliferation in the PCa cell lines DU145 and PC3. Also, further study showed that a decline in Notch-4 significantly promoted apoptosis in PC3 cells. Notch-4 silencing also resulted in decreased cell migration and invasion and affected the expression of EMT markers. We hypothesized that Notch-4 ablation suppresses the activity of NF-κB, so we used PMA to stimulate NF-κB p50 and p65 activation in PC3 cells. The results indicate that PMA treatment impaired the action of Notch-4 ablation in the biology of PC3 cells including cell growth, apoptosis, migration, invasion and EMT. The results of the present study show that RNAi targeting against Notch-4 expression suppresses PCa progression.

Todorova VK, Makhoul I, Dhakal I, et al.
Polymorphic Variations Associated With Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Breast Cancer Patients.
Oncol Res. 2017; 25(8):1223-1229 [PubMed] Related Publications
Doxorubicin (DOX) is a commonly used antineoplastic agent for the treatment of various malignancies, and its use is associated with unpredictable cardiotoxicity. Susceptibility to DOX cardiotoxicity is largely patient dependent, suggesting genetic predisposition. We have previously found that individual sensitivity to DOX cardiotoxicity was associated with differential expression of genes implicated in inflammatory response and immune trafficking, which was consistent with the increasing number of reports highlighting the important role of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex polymorphism in hypersensitivity to drug toxicity. This pilot study aimed to investigate DNA from patients treated with DOX-based chemotherapy for breast cancer and to correlate the results with the risk for DOX-associated cardiotoxicity. We have identified 18 SNPs in nine genes in the HLA region (NFKBIL1, TNF-α, ATP6V1G2-DDX39B, MSH5, MICA, LTA, BAT1, and NOTCH4) and in the psoriasis susceptibility region of HLA-C as potential candidates for association with DOX cardiotoxicity. These results, albeit preliminary and involving a small number of patients, are consistent with reports showing the presence of susceptibility loci within the HLA gene region for several inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and with our previous findings indicating that the increased sensitivity to DOX cardiotoxicity was associated with dysregulation of genes implicated both in inflammation and autoimmune disorders.

Xiong J, Zhang X, Chen X, et al.
Prognostic roles of mRNA expression of notch receptors in non-small cell lung cancer.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(8):13157-13165 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Notch signalling is aberrantly activated in human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Nevertheless, the prognostic roles of mRNA expression of four Notch receptors in NSCLC patients remain elusive. In this report, we reported the prognostic roles of Notch receptors in a total of 1,926 NSCLC patients through "The Kaplan-Meier plotter" (KM plotter) database which is capable to assess the effect of 22,277 genes on survival of NSCLC patients. We found that mRNA high expression level of Notch1 was associated with better overall survival (OS) for all NSCLC patients, hazard ratio (HR) 0.78 (0.69-0.89), p=0.00019, better OS in adenocarcinoma (Ade) patients, HR 0.59 (0.46-0.75), p=1.5e-05, as well as in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) patients, HR 0.78 (0.62-0.99), p=0.044. mRNA high expression levels of Notch2 and Notch3 were associated with worsen OS for all NSCLC patients, as well as in Ade, but not in SCC patients. mRNA high expression level of Notch4 was not found to be associated with to OS for all NSCLC patients. In addition, mRNA high expression levels of Notch2, Notch3, but Notch4 are significantly associated with the NSCLC patients who have different smoking status. Our results indicate that mRNA expression of Notch receptors may have distinct prognostic values in NSCLC patients. These results will benefit for developing tools to accurately predict the prognosis of NSCLC patients.

Abu-Tayeh H, Weidenfeld K, Zhilin-Roth A, et al.
'Normalizing' the malignant phenotype of luminal breast cancer cells via alpha(v)beta(3)-integrin.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7(12):e2491 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Reestablishing tissue organization of breast cancer cells into acini was previously shown to override their malignant phenotype. In our study, we demonstrate that alpha(v)beta(3) integrin (Int-αvβ3), previously shown to play a role in cancer progression, promoted differentiation and growth arrest of organoids derived from luminal A breast cancer cells grown in their relevant three-dimensional microenvironment. These organoids differentiated into normal-like acini resembling a benign stage of breast tissue. Likewise, we demonstrate that Int-αvβ3 is selectively expressed in the epithelium of the benign stage of breast tissues, and is lost during the early stages of luminal A breast cancer progression. Notably, the organoids' reversion into normal-like acini was mediated by cancer luminal progenitor-like cells expressing both EpCAM

Yang SL, Ren QG, Zhang T, et al.
Hepatitis B virus X protein and hypoxia‑inducible factor-1α stimulate Notch gene expression in liver cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2017; 37(1):348-356 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing evidence has demonstrated that Notch genes, including Notch1, Notch2, Notch3 and Notch4, are involved in carcinogenesis. However, the expression and regulation of Notch genes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues have not been fully investigated. In the present study, immunohistochemical and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analyses were performed to examine the expression of Notch genes in normal human liver, HBV-related HCC and paired peritumoral tissues. Additionally, qPCR and western blotting were utilized to investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus X protein (HBx) and hypoxia‑inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) on the regulation of Notch gene expression. The immunohistochemical and qPCR results showed that the expression levels of Notch1, Notch3 and Notch4 were significantly higher in HCC tissues than the levels in peritumoral and normal liver tissues. However, no significant difference in Notch2 expression was found between HCC and peritumoral tissues. Among the four Notch genes, immunohistochemical analyses found that only the increased level of Notch3 in HCC tissues was positively correlated with vascular invasion of liver cancer (P<0.05). Moreover, we found that overexpression of both HBx and HIF-1α increased the expression of Notch1, Notch3 and Notch4 in HepG2 and Bel-7404 cell lines. In summary, the present study demonstrated that Notch1, Notch3 and Notch4 were upregulated in HCC tissues and that HBx and HIF-1α may be the factors that cause the overexpression of Notch genes. Furthermore, the increased expression of Notch3 was closely related to the vascular invasiveness of HCC.

Chang WL, Lai WW, Kuo IY, et al.
A six-CpG panel with DNA methylation biomarkers predicting treatment response of chemoradiation in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
J Gastroenterol. 2017; 52(6):705-714 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Prognosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients remains poor, and the chemoradiotherapy (CRT) applied to ESCC patients often failed. Therefore, development of biomarkers to predict CRT response is immensely important for choosing the best treatment strategy of an individual patient.
METHODS: The methylation array and pyrosequencing methylation assay were performed in pre-treatment endoscopic biopsies to identify probes with differential CpG methylation levels between good and poor CRT responders in a cohort of 12 ESCC patients. Receiver operating characteristic curves and multivariate logistic regressions were conducted to build the risk score equation of selected CpG probes in another cohort of 91 ESCC patients to predict CRT response. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate progression-free survival or time-to-progression of patients predicted with good and poor CRT responses.
RESULTS: Nine differentially methylated CpG probes were identified to be associated with CRT response. A risk score equation comprising six CpG probes located in IFNGR2, KCNK4, NOTCH4, NPY, PAX6, and SOX17 genes were built. The risk score was derived from the sum of each probe multiplied by its corresponding coefficient. Such a risk score has a good prediction performance in discriminating poor CRT responders from good responders (AUC: 0.930). Moreover, poor CRT responders predicted by risk score significantly had poorer prognosis in terms of shorter progression-free survival and time-to-progression (p = 0.004-0.008).
CONCLUSION: We established a proof-of-concept CRT response prediction panel consisting of six-CpG methylation biomarkers in identifying ESCC patients who are at high risk of CRT failure and need intensive care.

Long LM, Zhan JK, Wang HQ, et al.
The Clinical Significance of miR-34a in Pancreatic Ductal Carcinoma and Associated Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms.
Pathobiology. 2017; 84(1):38-48 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) exhibits poor prognosis and resistance to chemotherapy. This study was to identify the biomarkers associated with the progression, poor prognosis and chemoresistance of PDAC.
METHODS: miR-34a and miR-150 levels in the plasma and tissues from PDAC patients were measured by real-time PCR. Xenograft PDAC tumor models were established in mice by inoculation of CD133+ stem cells isolated from PDAC tumors. Protein expression was measured by Western blot.
RESULTS: The plasma miR-34a and miR-150 levels were significantly lower in PDAC patients than in patients with benign pancreatic lesions and in healthy subjects. The miR-34a and miR-150 levels in the tumor tissues were significantly lower than in pancreatic tissues with benign lesions. The protein levels of CD133, Notch1, Notch2 and Notch4 receptors in PDAC tumor tissues were significantly higher than in pancreatic tissues with benign lesions. miR-34a injection significantly inhibited the tumor growth of PDAC tumors and sensitized the anticancer effects of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). miR-34a significantly inhibited Notch1, Notch2 and Notch4 expression in xenograft tumor tissues in vivo and BxPC-3 cells in vitro. miR-34a and miR-150 significantly induced apoptosis and inhibited proliferation, invasion and migration in BxPC-3 cells. miR-34a, but not miR-150, significantly sensitized the anticancer effect of 5-FU in BxPC-3 cells in vitro.
CONCLUSION: A loss of expression of miR-34a, but not of miR-150, is associated with disease progression and poor prognosis in PDAC patients, and may be involved in the chemoresistance of PDAC cells.

Cheung CC, Lun SW, Chung GT, et al.
MicroRNA-183 suppresses cancer stem-like cell properties in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:495 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated epithelial malignancy that exhibits distinct geographical and ethnic prevalence. Although the contemporary therapeutic approach of radio-/chemotherapy provides excellent results for patients with early-stage disease, it is far from satisfactory for those with disease remission and distant metastasis. Promising therapeutic strategies for advanced and relapsed NPC are still lacking. We recently identified and characterized a cancer stem-like cell (CSC) subpopulation in NPC that appeared to play an important role in tumor progression. Microarray analysis revealed downregulation of several stemness-inhibiting miRNAs in these CSC cells. Among these miRNAs, miR-96 and miR-183 showed the highest fold change and were selected to elucidate their role in repressing NPC CSC properties.
METHODS: MiR-96 and miR-183 expression in NPC CSCs was detected by qRT-PCR. Transient and stable transfection was performed in EBV-positive NPC C666-1 cells to examine the effects of ectopic expression of miR-96 and miR-183 on repressing cell growth and CSC properties. Anchorage-dependent (colony formation) and anchorage-independent (tumor sphere formation) growths of these miR-96 and miR-183 expressing cells were determined. Expression of multiple CSC markers and related molecules were accessed by flow cytometry and Western blotting. The tumorigenicity of the stable miR-96- and miR-183-transfected NPC cells was examined in an in vivo nude mice model.
RESULTS: Downregulation of miR-96 and miR-183 was confirmed in NPC spheroids. Using transient or stable transfection, we showed that ectopic expression of miR-96 and miR-183 suppressed cell growth and tumor sphere formation in NPC. Reduced NICD3 and NICD4 in miR-96- and miR-183-expressing NPC cells suggests the involvement of the NOTCH signaling pathway in their tumor suppressive function. Finally, we showed that the tumorigenicity of cells stably expressing miR-183 was significantly inhibited in the in vivo nude mice model.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-183 is a tumor-suppressive miRNA in EBV-associated NPC. Its abilities to suppress CSC properties in vitro and effectively reduce tumor growth in vivo shed light on its role as a potential therapeutic target.

Wu X, Liu W, Tang D, et al.
Prognostic values of four Notch receptor mRNA expression in gastric cancer.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:28044 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 Related Publications
Notch ligands and receptors are frequently deregulated in several human malignancies including gastric cancer. The activation of Notch signaling has been reported to contribute to gastric carcinogenesis and progression. However, the prognostic roles of individual Notch receptors in gastric cancer patients remain elusive. In the current study, we accessed the prognostic roles of four Notch receptors, Notch 1-4, in gastric cancer patients through "The Kaplan-Meier plotter" (KM plotter) database, in which updated gene expression data and survival information include a total of 876 gastric cancer patients. All four Notch receptors' high mRNA expression was found to be correlated to worsen overall survival (OS) for all gastric cancer patients followed for 20 years. We further accessed the prognostic roles of individual Notch receptors in different clinicopathological features using Lauren classification, pathological grades, clinical grades, HER2 status and different choices of treatments of gastric cancer patients. These results indicate that there are critical prognostic values of the four Notch receptors in gastric cancer. This information will be useful for better understanding of the heterogeneity and complexity in the molecular biology of gastric cancer and to develop tools to more accurately predict their prognosis.

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] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 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.

Mk H, Prince S, Mohan AM, et al.
Association of Notch4 with metastasis in human oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Life Sci. 2016; 156:38-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Despite the development of several therapeutic strategies in the past decades, clinicians have failed to improve the survival rate of oral squamous cell carcinoma patients due to the highly metastatic nature of the disease and its high recurrence rate. However, there is accumulating evidence that aberrant Notch4 expression has a critical role in tumorigenesis but its prognostic value and function in OSCC remains uncertain. This study therefore investigates (1) the expression of Notch4 and its downstream target, myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG) in tissue samples representative of different stages of OSCC with varied clinicopathological features and (2) the possible involvement of Notch4 in the proliferation and migration of OSCC cells.
MAIN METHODS: Sixty patients reported positive for OSCC were obtained along with the clinicopathological parameters and we performed immunohistochemistry, western blotting and RT-PCR for Notch4 and MAG expression. Further, the metastatic role of Notch4 was analyzed in the HSC-3 cell line by cell proliferation and migration assays.
KEY FINDINGS: Our findings reveal that Notch4 and MAG expression are significantly upregulated in specifically late stages of OSCC tumor sections and perineural invasion (PNI) positive cases. In addition, depletion of Notch4 by siRNA inhibited the proliferative and migratory ability of the highly metastatic HSC-3 OSCC cells.
SIGNIFICANCE: Our study indicates that the aberrant activation of Notch4 promotes OSCC metastasis through perineural spread and ascertains its value as a significant prognostic marker and potential therapeutic target to treat this highly aggressive malignancy.

Liu ZY, Wu T, Li Q, et al.
Notch Signaling Components: Diverging Prognostic Indicators in Lung Adenocarcinoma.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2016; 95(20):e3715 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2020 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.

Ortiz-Martínez F, Gutiérrez-Aviñó FJ, Sanmartín E, et al.
Association of Notch pathway down-regulation with Triple Negative/Basal-like breast carcinomas and high tumor-infiltrating FOXP3+ Tregs.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2016; 100(3):460-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
T regulatory cells (Tregs) are a lineage of lymphocytes involved in immune response suppression that are characterized by the expression of the forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) transcription factor. Notch pathway regulates FOXP3 transcription in Tregs, but its role in breast cancer is unknown. We aimed at studying whether Notch pathway regulates FOXP3 expression and Tregs content in breast cancer, and its association with luminal breast carcinomas. We analyzed by quantitative Real-Time PCR the mRNA levels of FOXP3, Notch pathway genes (Notch1, Notch2, Notch4 and Jagged1) and STAT3 in a series of 152 breast carcinomas including hormone receptor-positive and -negative phenotypes (luminal and Triple Negative/Basal-like). We also studied the protein expression of Notch1, STAT3 and FOXP3 by immunohistochemistry. High FOXP3 mRNA levels correlated with larger tumor size (p=0.010), histological grade 3 (p=0.008) and positive lymph-node status (p=0.031). Also, low levels of Notch pathway genes mRNA correlated with poor prognostic factors such as larger tumor size, positive lymph-node status, tumor phenotype and infiltrating tumor Tregs. A survival analysis for the patients showed that large tumor size, histological grade 3, vascular invasion, infiltrating Tregs and low Notch1 mRNA expression were significantly associated with a decreased patients' overall survival (p≤0.05). On a multivariate analysis, high Tregs content (HR=3.00, 95% CI 1.04-8.90, p=0.042) and low Notch1 mRNA levels (HR=3.33, 95% CI 1.02-10.86, p=0.046) were independent markers for overall survival. Our results support that the Notch pathway up-regulation promotes luminal breast carcinomas, whereas down-regulation correlates with the expression of FOXP3, favors tumor Tregs infiltration and associates with Triple Negative/Basal-like tumors.

Ongaro A, Pellati A, Bagheri L, et al.
Characterization of Notch Signaling During Osteogenic Differentiation in Human Osteosarcoma Cell Line MG63.
J Cell Physiol. 2016; 231(12):2652-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteogenic differentiation is a multi-step process controlled by a complex molecular framework. Notch is an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway playing a prominent role in cell fate and differentiation, although the mechanisms by which this pathway regulates osteogenesis remain controversial. This study aimed to investigate, in vitro, the involvement of Notch pathway during all the developmental stages of osteogenic differentiation in human osteosarcoma cell line MG63. Cells were cultured in basal condition (control) and in osteoinductive medium (OM). Notch inhibitors were also added in OM to block Notch pathway. During osteogenic differentiation, early (alkaline phosphatase activity and collagen type I) and late osteogenic markers (osteocalcin levels and matrix mineralization), as well as the gene expression of the main osteogenic transcription factors (Runx2, Osterix, and Dlx5) increased. Time dependent changes in the expression of specific Notch receptors were identified in OM versus control with a significant reduction in the expression of Notch1 and Notch3 receptors in the early phase of differentiation, and an increase of Notch2 and Notch4 receptors in the late phase. Among Notch nuclear target genes, Hey1 expression was significantly higher in OM than control, while Hes5 expression decreased. Osteogenic markers were reduced and Hey1 was significantly inhibited by Notch inhibitors, suggesting a role for Notch through the canonical pathway. In conclusion, Notch pathway might be involved with a dual role in osteogenesis of MG63, through the activation of Notch2, Notch4, and Hey1, inducing osteoblast differentiation and the depression of Notch1, Notch3, and Hes5, maintaining an undifferentiated status. J. Cell. Physiol. 231: 2652-2663, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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