Genes that are crucial in the normal development of multi-cellular organisms often play a role in oncogenesis when aberrantly expressed in adult tissues. The Notch signaling pathway is crucial in the cell fate determination, and there is strong evidence demonstrating a role for Notch dysregulation in tumor development. Despite the increasing role of Notch pathway in human cancers, very little was known about the role of NotchS in lung cancers. Our group was the first to link Notch3 pathway with lung cancers. We demonstrated that about 40% of resected lung tumors overexpresses NotchS. In the developing lung, constitutively activated NotchS prevents maturation of lung epithelium. Furthermore, inhibiting the NotchS reduces tumor phenotype, induces apoptosis and renders the tumor cells more dependent of exogenous growth factors. Finally, pharmacologic inhibition of Notch activation reduces proliferation of lung cancer in vitro. Based on our preliminary data, we hypothesize that the NotchS signaling pathway plays a role in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and represents a potential target for intervention. To test these hypotheses, (1) we will examine whether NotchS is sufficient for cellular transformation in vivo using an inducible, Clara cell-driven NotchS expressing mouse model. (2) While transformation is an important aspect in cancer pathogenesis, understanding whether NotchS is important in progression is also important. We will examine the effect of inhibiting NotchS on tumor survival, progression and metastasis in established tumor using an orthotopic lung cancer model. (3) Gamma-secretase is a presenillin-containing protein complex necessary for proteolytic cleavage and activation of Notch receptors. In this aim,we propose to examine the phenotypic and biochemical effects of y-secretase inhibitors on tumor xenografts and to determine the degree to which the anti-tumor effect is Notch-related. These proposed studies will potentially identify NotchS as a target for intervention and provide insights into the mechanism of NotchS-related lung cancer pathogenesis.
|Konishi, J; Yi, F; Chen, X et al. (2010) Notch3 cooperates with the EGFR pathway to modulate apoptosis through the induction of bim. Oncogene 29:589-96|
|Lin, Luping; Mernaugh, Ray; Yi, Fuming et al. (2010) Targeting specific regions of the Notch3 ligand-binding domain induces apoptosis and inhibits tumor growth in lung cancer. Cancer Res 70:632-8|