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Clin Cancer Res. 2012 May 1;18(9):2452-64. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2371. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

Upregulated JAG1 enhances cell proliferation in adrenocortical carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to examine the expression and molecular significance of JAG1, a ligand for the Notch developmental signaling pathway, in adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:

Human microarray data were analyzed for genes expressing ligands for the Notch pathway and validated with quantitative real-time PCR (QPCR) and immunoblots of RNA and protein, respectively. ACC cells lines were assessed for Notch pathway member expression by immunoblot, QPCR, and immunofluorescence. Notch pathway activity was also determined using a reporter gene (luciferase) activation. Proliferation experiments using a Jag1 knockdown strategy (Jag1KD) and an inhibitor of Notch-dependent transcription (DNMaml) used a coculture system with fluorescence-activated cell-sorting (FACS) analysis. Tumor stage and mitotic rate of human ACC samples were correlated to JAG1 expression.

RESULTS:

The Notch ligand JAG1 mRNA and protein are upregulated in ACCs. JAG1 upregulation can be modeled in the Y1 mouse ACC cell line that expresses Jag1, Notch receptors, downstream signaling molecules, and exhibits density-dependent Notch activation. Jag1 enhances cell proliferation through activation of canonical Notch signaling as shown through Jag1KD and coculture experiments. Inhibition of Notch signaling at the level of postreceptor signaling (DNMaml), results in similar inhibition of cell proliferation. Analysis of clinical data indicates that Jag1 expression correlates with both grade and stage of ACCs, supporting a role of JAG1-dependent Notch activation in late-stage ACCs.

CONCLUSIONS:

JAG1 is the primary upregulated Notch ligand in ACCs and enhances ACC cell proliferation and tumor aggressiveness in a non-cell-autonomous manner through activation of Notch signaling in adjacent cells.

©2012 AACR.

PMID:
22427350
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3848076
Free PMC Article

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