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Specific inhibition of Notch1 signaling suppresses properties of lung cancer stem cells


1 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao; Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jining No. 1 People's Hospital, Jining, P.R. China
2 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Jining No. 1 People's Hospital, Jining, P.R. China
3 Department of Experimental Pathology and Pathophysiology, Institute of Basic Medicine, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Shandong Province, P.R. China
4 Department of Thoracic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Qingdao, P.R. China

Correspondence Address:
Yi Shen,
Department of Thoracic Surgery, Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, No. 16, Jiangsu Road, Qingdao City, Shandong Province 266003
P.R. China
Yueying Zhang,
Department of Experimental Pathology and Pathophysiology, Institute of Basic Medicine, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Shandong Province 266003
P.R. China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Objective: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide with a relatively low 5-year relative survival rate of 16%. Novel and efficient therapeutic approach for lung cancer is desperately needed. Materials and Methods: Targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs) provides a promising strategy to eradicate malignancies. The Notch signaling pathway plays an important role in the control of cell fates and developmental processes including CSCs. The function of Notch1 in the regulation of CSCs and whether targeting Notch1 could be a potential therapy for lung cancer were explored in this study. Lung CSCs (LCSCs) were isolated from A549 cells and identified as CD44+/CD24 cells by magnetic-assisted cell sorting, then the putative LCSCs were treated with Notch1 inhibitor and Notch1 small interfering RNAs (siRNAs); the growth and proliferation of LCSCs were investigated to test the effect of Notch1 blocking on the growth and viability of LCSCs. Results: CD44+/CD24 cells isolated from A549 cells possessed stem cell-like properties with high expression of Notch1. Blocking Notch1 by inhibitor DAPT or siRNA both inhibited the growth capacity of LCSCs. Conclusion: Our discovery demonstrated a depression of growth in CD44+/CD24 and A549 cells caused by blockade of Notch signaling pathway. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the detailed effects of Notch1 blocking on the LCSCs. Nevertheless, targeting the Notch pathway has exhibited great potential to be an improved lung cancer treatment.


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