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author:("Wu, lii")
1.  Blockage of Notch Signaling Inhibits the Migration and Proliferation of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells 
The Scientific World Journal  2013;2013:178708.
The Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved cell-cell communication pathway that plays critical roles in the proliferation, survival, apoptosis, and fate determination of mammalian cells. Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are responsible for supporting the function of the neural retina and maintaining vision. This study investigated the function of Notch signaling in RPE cells. We found that the members of the Notch signaling pathway components were differentially expressed in RPE cells. Furthermore, blockage of Notch signaling inhibited the migration and proliferation of RPE cells and reduced the expression levels of certain Notch signaling target genes, including HES1, MYC, HEY2, and SOX9. Our data reveal a critical role of Notch signaling in RPE cells, suggesting that targeting Notch signaling may provide a novel approach for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases related to RPE cells.
doi:10.1155/2013/178708
PMCID: PMC3885266  PMID: 24453806
2.  Notch1-Mediated Tumor Suppression in Cervical Cancer with the Involvement of SST Signaling and Its Application in Enhanced SSTR-Targeted Therapeutics 
The Oncologist  2012;17(2):220-232.
The role of Notch signaling in cervical cancer was investigated, suggesting potential therapy using combinations of Notch1-activating agents and somatostatin receptor 2–targeting agents.
The role of Notch signaling in cervical cancer is seemingly controversial. To confirm the function of Notch signaling in this type of cancer, we established a stable Notch1-activated cervical cancer HeLa cell line. We found that Notch1 activation resulted in apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and tumor suppression. At the molecular level, we found that a variety of genes associated with cyclic AMP, G protein-coupled receptor, and cancer signaling pathways contributed to Notch1-mediated tumor suppression. We observed that the expression of somatostatin (SST) was dramatically induced by Notch1 signaling activation, which was accompanied by enhanced expression of the cognate SST receptor subtype 1 (SSTR1) and SSTR2. Certain genes, such as tumor protein 63 (TP63, p63), were upregulated, whereas others, such as B-cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2), Myc, Akt, and STAT3, were downregulated. Subsequently, knockdown of Notch1-induced SST reversed Notch1-induced decrease of BCL-2 and increase of p63, indicating that Notch1-induced tumor suppression may be partly through upregulating SST signaling. Our findings support a possible crosstalk between Notch signaling and SST signaling. Moreover, Notch-induced SSTR activation could enhance SSTR-targeted cancer chemotherapy. Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, suppressed cell growth and upregulated the expression of Notch1 and SSTR2. A combination therapy with VPA and the SSTR2-targeting cytotoxic conjugate CPT-SST strongly led to greater suppression, as compared to each alone. Our findings thus provide us with a promising clinical opportunity for enhanced cancer therapy using combinations of Notch1-activating agents and SSTR2-targeting agents.
doi:10.1634/theoncologist.2011-0269
PMCID: PMC3286171  PMID: 22291092
Notch1 signaling; Cervical cancer; Tumor suppression; SST signaling; Receptor-targeted therapy
3.  NOTCH1 and NOTCH3 coordinate esophageal squamous differentiation through a CSL-dependent transcriptional network 
Gastroenterology  2010;139(6):2113-2123.
Background & Aims
The Notch receptor family regulates cell fate through cell-cell communication. CSL (CBF-1/RBP-jκ, Su(H), Lag-1) drives canonical Notch-mediated gene transcription during cell lineage specification, differentiation and proliferation in the hematopoietic system, the intestine, the pancreas and the skin. However, the functional roles of Notch in esophageal squamous epithelial biology remain unknown.
Methods
Normal esophageal keratinocytes were stimulated with calcium chloride to induce terminal differentiation. The squamous epithelia were reconstituted in organotypic three-dimensional culture, a form of human tissue engineering. Notch was inhibited in culture with a γ-secretase inhibitor or dominant negative mastermind-like1 (DNMAML1). The roles of Notch receptors were evaluated by in vitro gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments. Additionally, DNMAML1 was targeted to the mouse esophagus by cytokeratin K14 promoter-driven Cre (K14Cre) recombination of Lox-STOP-Lox-DNMAML1. Notch-regulated gene expression was determined by reporter transfection, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR), Western blotting, immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry.
Results
NOTCH1 (N1) was activated at the onset of squamous differentiation in the esophagus. Intracellular domain of N1 (ICN1) directly activated NOTCH3 (N3) transcription, inducing HES5 and early differentiation markers such as involucrin (IVL) and cytokeratin CK13 in a CSL-dependent fashion. N3 enhanced ICN1 activity and was required for squamous differentiation. Loss of Notch signaling in K14Cre;DNMAML1 mice perturbed esophageal squamous differentiation and resulted in N3 loss and basal cell hyperplasia.
Conclusions
Notch signaling is important for esophageal epithelial homeostasis. In particular, the crosstalk of N3 with N1 during differentiation provides novel, mechanistic insights into Notch signaling and squamous epithelial biology.
doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2010.08.040
PMCID: PMC2997138  PMID: 20801121
NOTCH1; NOTCH3; esophageal epithelium; squamous differentiation
4.  Inhibition of Notch Signaling Blocks Growth of Glioblastoma Cell Lines and Tumor Neurospheres 
Genes & cancer  2010;1(8):822-835.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor that is characterized by high proliferative rate and invasiveness. Since dysregualtion of Notch signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of many human cancers, here we investigated the role of Notch signaling in GBM. We found that there is aberrant activation of Notch signaling in GBM cell lines and human GBM-derived neurospheres. Inhibition of Notch signaling via the expression of a dominant negative form of the Notch co-activator, mastermind-like 1 (DN-MAML1) or the treatment of a γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) MRK-003 resulted in a significant reduction in GBM cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of individual Notch receptors revealed that Notch1 and Notch2 receptors differentially contributed to GBM cell growth, with Notch2 having a predominant role. Furthermore, blockade of Notch signaling inhibited the proliferation of human GBM-derived neurospheres in vitro and in vivo. Our overall data indicate that Notch signaling contributes significantly to optimal GBM growth, strongly supporting that the Notch pathway is a promising therapeutic target for GBM.
doi:10.1177/1947601910383564
PMCID: PMC2994256  PMID: 21127729
Notch signaling; Glioblastoma; Tumor neurospheres; γ-secretase inhibitor; Cell growth
5.  Inhibition of Notch Signaling Blocks Growth of Glioblastoma Cell Lines and Tumor Neurospheres 
Genes & Cancer  2010;1(8):822-835.
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor that is characterized by high proliferative rate and invasiveness. Since dysregulation of Notch signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of many human cancers, here we investigated the role of Notch signaling in GBM. We found that there is aberrant activation of Notch signaling in GBM cell lines and human GBM-derived neurospheres. Inhibition of Notch signaling via the expression of a dominant negative form of the Notch coactivator, mastermind-like 1 (DN-MAML1), or the treatment of a γ-secretase inhibitor, (GSI) MRK-003, resulted in a significant reduction in GBM cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of individual Notch receptors revealed that Notch1 and Notch2 receptors differentially contributed to GBM cell growth, with Notch2 having a predominant role. Furthermore, blockade of Notch signaling inhibited the proliferation of human GBM-derived neurospheres in vitro and in vivo. Our overall data indicate that Notch signaling contributes significantly to optimal GBM growth, strongly supporting that the Notch pathway is a promising therapeutic target for GBM.
doi:10.1177/1947601910383564
PMCID: PMC2994256  PMID: 21127729
Notch signaling; glioblastoma; tumor neurospheres; γ-secretase inhibitor; cell growth
6.  Mammalian target of rapamycin regulates murine and human cell differentiation through STAT3/p63/Jagged/Notch cascade 
The receptor tyrosine kinase/PI3K/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (RTK/PI3K/AKT/mTOR) pathway is frequently altered in cancer, but the underlying mechanism leading to tumorigenesis by activated mTOR remains less clear. Here we show that mTOR is a positive regulator of Notch signaling in mouse and human cells, acting through induction of the STAT3/p63/Jagged signaling cascade. Furthermore, in response to differential cues from mTOR, we found that Notch served as a molecular switch to shift the balance between cell proliferation and differentiation. We determined that hyperactive mTOR signaling impaired cell differentiation of murine embryonic fibroblasts via potentiation of Notch signaling. Elevated mTOR signaling strongly correlated with enhanced Notch signaling in poorly differentiated but not in well-differentiated human breast cancers. Both human lung lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and mouse kidney tumors with hyperactive mTOR due to tumor suppressor TSC1 or TSC2 deficiency exhibited enhanced STAT3/p63/Notch signaling. Furthermore, tumorigenic potential of cells with uncontrolled mTOR signaling was suppressed by Notch inhibition. Our data therefore suggest that perturbation of cell differentiation by augmented Notch signaling might be responsible for the underdifferentiated phenotype displayed by certain tumors with an aberrantly activated RTK/PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway. Additionally, the STAT3/p63/Notch axis may be a useful target for the treatment of cancers exhibiting hyperactive mTOR signaling.
doi:10.1172/JCI37964
PMCID: PMC2798675  PMID: 20038814
7.  Identification of a Family of Mastermind-Like Transcriptional Coactivators for Mammalian Notch Receptors 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(21):7688-7700.
The molecular mechanisms by which Notch receptors induce diverse biological responses are not fully understood. We recently cloned a mammalian homologue of the Mastermind gene of Drosophila melanogaster, MAML1 (Mastermind-like-1 molecule) and determined that it functions as a transcriptional coactivator for Notch receptors. In this report, we characterize two additional genes in this Mastermind-like gene family: MAML2 and MAML3. The three MAML genes are widely expressed in adult tissues but exhibit distinct expression patterns in mouse early spinal cord development. All MAML proteins localize to nuclear bodies, share a conserved basic domain in their N termini that binds to the ankyrin repeat domain of Notch, and contain a transcriptional activation domain in their C termini. Moreover, as determined by using coimmunoprecipitation assays, each MAML protein was found to be capable of forming a multiprotein complex with the intracellular domain of each Notch receptor (ICN1 to -4) and CSL in vivo. However, MAML3 bound less efficiently to the ankyrin repeat domain of Notch1. Also, in U20S cells, whereas MAML1 and MAML2 functioned efficiently as coactivators with each of the Notch receptors to transactivate a Notch target HES1 promoter construct, MAML3 functioned more efficiently with ICN4 than with other forms of ICN. Similarly, MAML1 and MAML2 amplified Notch ligand (both Jagged2 and Delta1)-induced transcription of the HES-1 gene, whereas MAML3 displayed little effect. Thus, MAML proteins may modify Notch signaling in different cell types based on their own expression levels and differential activities and thereby contribute to the diversity of the biological effects resulting from Notch activation.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.21.7688-7700.2002
PMCID: PMC135662  PMID: 12370315
8.  Role of the Ped Gene and Apoptosis Genes in Control of Preimplantation Development 
Purpose:The properties of the mouse Ped gene and the genes that mediate apoptosis in mediating preimplantation embryonic survival were reviewed.
Methods:Preimplantation mouse oocytes and embryos were evaluated microscopically and biochemically for rate of development, degree of fragmentation, and gene expression to correlate these characteristics with embryo mortality. Biochemical assays included PCR for DNA analysis, RT-PCR for mRNA analysis, immuno-PCR for protein analysis, and TUNEL assay for assessment of apoptosis.
Results:Using the mouse as a model system we have identified a gene that controls the rate of development, the Ped gene. The Ped gene product is a class Ib major histocompatibility complex protein called the Qa-2 antigen. Research to understand the molecular mechanisms of Ped gene action and to identify the human homologue of the Ped gene is under way. We have also shown using the mouse model, that fragmented embryos show the morphological and biochemical characteristics of apoptosis. Genes in the two major gene families that regulate apoptosis, the caspase and Bcl-2 families, are expressed in mouse oocytes and preimplantation embryos.
Conclusions:Preimplantation embryonic survival depends on two major morphological parameters: rate of development and degree of fragmentation. A fast rate of development and a low degree of fragmentation lead to a better chance of producing live offspring. Both rate of development and degree of fragmentation are genetically controlled, the former by the Ped gene and the latter most likely by genes that mediate apoptosis. It seems probable that regulation of apoptosis will prove to be a major mechanism that mediates oocyte and preimplantation embryonic survival.
doi:10.1023/A:1022560914833
PMCID: PMC3454758  PMID: 9604770
Ped gene; apoptosis genes; mouse; preimplantation development

Results 1-8 (8)