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Nat Rev Cancer. 2003 Oct;3(10):756-67.

The role of Notch in tumorigenesis: oncogene or tumour suppressor?

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  • 1Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch, University of Lausanne, Chemin des Boveresses 155, 1066 Epalinges, Switzerland.


Notch signalling participates in the development of multicellular organisms by maintaining the self-renewal potential of some tissues and inducing the differentiation of others. Involvement of Notch in cancer was first highlighted in human T-cell leukaemia, fuelling the notion that aberrant Notch signalling promotes tumorigenesis. However, there is mounting evidence that Notch signalling is not exclusively oncogenic. It can instead function as a tumour suppressor.

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