Radiation-induced Notch signaling in breast cancer stem cells.
ABSTRACT: To explore patterns of Notch receptor and ligand expression in response to radiation that could be crucial in defining optimal dosing schemes for ?-secretase inhibitors if combined with radiation.Using MCF-7 and T47D breast cancer cell lines, we used real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to study the Notch pathway in response to radiation.We show that Notch receptor and ligand expression during the first 48 hours after irradiation followed a complex radiation dose-dependent pattern and was most pronounced in mammospheres, enriched for breast cancer stem cells. Additionally, radiation activated the Notch pathway. Treatment with a ?-secretase inhibitor prevented radiation-induced Notch family gene expression and led to a significant reduction in the size of the breast cancer stem cell pool.Our results indicate that, if combined with radiation, ?-secretase inhibitors may prevent up-regulation of Notch receptor and ligand family members and thus reduce the number of surviving breast cancer stem cells.
Project description:Evolutionarily conserved Notch plays a critical role in embryonic development and cellular self-renewal. It has both tumour suppressor and oncogenic activity, the latter of which is widely described. Notch-activating mutations are associated with haematological malignancies and several solid tumours including breast, lung and adenoid cystic carcinoma. Moreover, upregulation of Notch receptors and ligands and aberrant Notch signalling is frequently observed in cancer. It is involved in cancer hallmarks including proliferation, survival, migration, angiogenesis, cancer stem cell renewal, metastasis and drug resistance. It is a key component of cell-to-cell interactions between cancer cells and cells of the tumour microenvironment, such as endothelial cells, immune cells and fibroblasts. Notch displays diverse crosstalk with many other oncogenic signalling pathways, and may drive acquired resistance to targeted therapies as well as resistance to standard chemo/radiation therapy. The past 10 years have seen the emergence of different classes of drugs therapeutically targeting Notch including receptor/ligand antibodies, gamma secretase inhibitors (GSI) and most recently, the development of Notch transcription complex inhibitors. It is an exciting time for Notch research with over 70 cancer clinical trials registered and the first-ever Phase III trial of a Notch GSI, nirogacestat, currently at the recruitment stage.
Project description:Here, we show for the first time, that the familial breast/ovarian cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1 activates the Notch pathway in breast cells by transcriptional upregulation of Notch ligands and receptors in both normal and cancer cells. We demonstrate through chromatin immunoprecipitation assays that BRCA1 is localized to a conserved intronic enhancer region within the Notch ligand Jagged-1 (JAG1) gene, an event requiring ?Np63. We propose that this BRCA1/?Np63-mediated induction of JAG1 may be important the regulation of breast stem/precursor cells, as knockdown of all three proteins resulted in increased tumoursphere growth and increased activity of stem cell markers such as Aldehyde Dehydrogenase 1 (ALDH1). Knockdown of Notch1 and JAG1 phenocopied BRCA1 knockdown resulting in the loss of Estrogen Receptor-? (ER-?) expression and other luminal markers. A Notch mimetic peptide could activate an ER-? promoter reporter in a BRCA1-dependent manner, whereas Notch inhibition using a ?-secretase inhibitor reversed this process. We demonstrate that inhibition of Notch signalling resulted in decreased sensitivity to the anti-estrogen drug Tamoxifen but increased expression of markers associated with basal-like breast cancer. Together, these findings suggest that BRCA1 transcriptional upregulation of Notch signalling is a key event in the normal differentiation process in breast tissue.
Project description:High serum levels of IL-6 correlate with poor outcome in breast cancer patients. However, no data are available on the relationship between IL-6 and mammary stem/progenitor cells, which may fuel the genesis of breast cancer in vivo. Herein, we address this issue in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line and in primary human mammospheres (MS), multicellular structures enriched in stem/progenitor cells of the mammary gland. MS from node invasive breast carcinoma tissues expressed IL-6 mRNA at higher levels than did MS from matched non-neoplastic mammary glands. In addition, IL-6 mRNA was detected only in basal-like breast carcinoma tissues, an aggressive breast carcinoma variant showing stem cell features. IL-6 treatment triggered Notch-3-dependent upregulation of the Notch ligand Jagged-1 and promotion of MS and MCF-7-derived spheroid growth. Moreover, IL-6 induced Notch-3-dependent upregulation of the carbonic anhydrase IX gene and promoted a hypoxia-resistant/invasive phenotype in MCF-7 cells and MS. Finally, autocrine IL-6 signaling relied upon Notch-3 activity to sustain the aggressive features of MCF-7-derived hypoxia-selected cells. In conclusion, these 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.
Project description:Therapy resistance is one of the major impediments to successful cancer treatment. In breast cancer, a small subpopulation of cells with stem cell features, named breast cancer stem cells (BCSC), is responsible for metastasis and recurrence of the tumor. BCSC have the unique ability to grow under non-adherent conditions in "mammospheres". To prevent breast cancer recurrence and metastasis it will be crucial to eradicate BCSC.We used shRNA genetic screening to identify genes that upon knockdown enhance mammosphere formation in breast cancer cells. By integration of these results with gene expression profiles of mammospheres and NOTCH-activated cells, we identified FOXO3A. Modulation of FOXO3A activity results in a change in mammosphere formation, expression of mammary stem cell markers and breast cancer initiating potential. Importantly, lack of FOXO3A expression in breast cancer patients is associated with increased recurrence rate. Our findings provide evidence for a role for FOXO3A downstream of NOTCH and AKT that may have implications for therapies targeting BCSCs.
Project description:The numerous processes involved in the etiology of breast cancer such as cell survival, metabolism, proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis are currently being elucidated. However, underlying mechanisms that drive breast cancer progression and drug resistance are still poorly understood. As we discuss here in detail, the Notch signaling pathway is an important regulatory component of normal breast development, cell fate of normal breast stem cells, and proliferation and survival of breast cancer initiating cells. Notch exerts a wide range of critical effects through a canonical pathway where it is expressed as a type I membrane precursor heterodimer followed by at least two subsequent cleavages induced by ligand engagement to ultimately release an intracellular form to function as a transcriptional activator. Notch and its ligands are overexpressed in breast cancer, and one method of effectively blocking Notch activity is preventing its cleavage at the cell surface with ?-secretase inhibitors. In the context of Notch signaling, the application of clinically relevant anti-Notch drugs in treatment regimens may contribute to novel therapeutic interventions and promote more effective clinical response in women with breast cancer.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Wnt signalling has been implicated in stem cell regulation however its role in breast cancer stem cell regulation remains unclear. METHODS:We used a panel of normal and breast cancer cell lines to assess Wnt pathway gene and protein expression, and for the investigation of Wnt signalling within stem cell-enriched populations, mRNA and protein expression was analysed after the selection of anoikis-resistant cells. Finally, cell lines and patient-derived samples were used to investigate Wnt pathway effects on stem cell activity in vitro. RESULTS:Wnt pathway signalling increased in cancer compared to normal breast and in both cell lines and patient samples, expression of Wnt pathway genes correlated with estrogen receptor (ER) expression. Furthermore, specific Wnt pathway genes were predictive for recurrence within subtypes of breast cancer. Canonical Wnt pathway genes were increased in breast cancer stem cell-enriched populations in comparison to normal breast stem cell-enriched populations. Furthermore in cell lines, the ligand Wnt3a increased whilst the inhibitor DKK1 reduced mammosphere formation with the greatest inhibitory effects observed in ER+ve breast cancer cell lines. In patient-derived metastatic breast cancer samples, only ER-ve mammospheres were responsive to the ligand Wnt3a. However, the inhibitor DKK1 efficiently inhibited both ER+ve and ER-ve breast cancer but not normal mammosphere formation, suggesting that the Wnt pathway is aberrantly activated in breast cancer mammospheres. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, these data highlight differential Wnt signalling in breast cancer subtypes and activity in patient-derived metastatic cancer stem-like cells indicating a potential for Wnt-targeted treatment in breast cancers.
Project description:The Notch signaling plays a key role in cell differentiation, survival, and proliferation through diverse mechanisms. Notch signaling is also involved in vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Moreover, Notch expression is regulated by hypoxia and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6 and leptin). Entangled crosstalk between Notch and other developmental signaling (Hedgehog and Wnt), and signaling triggered by growth factors, estrogens and oncogenic kinases, could impact on Notch targeted genes. Thus, alterations of the Notch signaling can lead to a variety of disorders, including human malignancies. Notch signaling is activated by ligand binding, followed by ADAM/tumor necrosis factor-?-converting enzyme (TACE) metalloprotease and ?-secretase cleavages that produce the Notch intracellular domain (NICD). Translocation of NICD into the nucleus induces the transcriptional activation of Notch target genes. The relationships between Notch deregulated signaling, cancer stem cells and the carcinogenesis process reinforced by Notch crosstalk with many oncogenic signaling pathways suggest that Notch signaling may be a critical drug target for breast and other cancers. Since current status of knowledge in this field changes quickly, our insight should be continuously revised. In this review, we will focus on recent advancements in identification of aberrant Notch signaling in breast cancer and the possible underlying mechanisms, including potential role of Notch in breast cancer stem cells, tumor angiogenesis, as well as its crosstalk with other oncogenic signaling pathways in breast cancer. We will also discuss the prognostic value of Notch proteins and therapeutic potential of targeting Notch signaling for cancer treatment.
Project description:Cancer stem cells are implicated in resistance to ionizing radiation (IR) and chemotherapy. Honokiol, a biphenolic compound has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for treating various ailments. In this study, we determined the ability of honokiol to enhance the sensitivity of colon cancer stem cells to IR. The combination of honokiol and IR suppressed proliferation and colony formation while inducing apoptosis of colon cancer cells in culture. There were also reduced numbers and size of spheroids, which was coupled with reduced expression of cancer stem cell marker protein DCLK1. Flow cytometry studies confirmed that the honokiol-IR combination reduced the number of DCLK1+ cells. In addition, there were reduced levels of activated Notch-1, its ligand Jagged-1, and the downstream target gene Hes-1. Furthermore, expression of components of the Notch-1 activating ?-secretase complex, presenilin 1, nicastrin, Pen2, and APH-1 was also suppressed. On the other hand, the honokiol effects were mitigated when the Notch intracellular domain was expressed. To determine the effect of honokiol-IR combination on tumor growth in vivo, nude mice tumor xenografts were administered honokiol intraperitoneally and exposed to IR. The honokiol-IR combination significantly inhibited tumor xenograft growth. In addition, there were reduced levels of DCLK1 and the Notch signaling-related proteins in the xenograft tissues. Together, these data suggest that honokiol is a potent inhibitor of colon cancer growth that targets the stem cells by inhibiting the ?-secretase complex and the Notch signaling pathway. These studies warrant further clinical evaluation for the combination of honokiol and IR for treating colon cancers.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Notch receptor has an important role in both development and cancer. We previously reported that inhibition of the Notch3 by γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) induces apoptosis and suppresses tumour proliferation in non-small-cell lung cancer. Although radiation is reported to induce Notch activation, little is known about the relationship between radiation and Notch pathway.<h4>Methods</h4>We examined the effect of combining GSI and radiation at different dosing in three Notch expressing lung cancer cell lines. The cytotoxic effect of GSI and radiation was evaluated using MTT assay and clonogenic assay in vitro and xenograft models. Expressions of Notch pathway, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and Bcl-2 family proteins were investigated using western blot analysis.<h4>Results</h4>We discovered that the antitumour effect of combining GSI and radiation was dependent on treatment schedule. γ-Secretase inhibitor administration after radiation had the greatest growth inhibition of lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. We showed that the combination induced apoptosis of lung cancer cell lines through the regulation of MAPK and Bcl-2 family proteins. Furthermore, activation of Notch after radiation was ameliorated by GSI administration, suggesting that treatment with GSI prevents Notch-induced radiation resistance.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Notch has an important role in lung cancer. Treatment with GSI after radiation can significantly enhance radiation-mediated tumour cytotoxicity.