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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2012;727:186-98. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0899-4_14.

Notch signaling pathway and cancer metastasis.

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Department of Medical Genetics and Developmental Biology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, China.


Cancer metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths all over the world at present. Accumulated researches have demonstrated that cancer metastasis is composed of a series of successive incidents, mainly including epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), malignant cell migration, resistance to anoikis, and angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis processes. However, the complicated cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying and modulating these processes have not been well elucidated. Thus, studies on cancer metastasis mechanism may propose possibilities to therapeutically interfere with signaling pathways required for each step of cancer metastasis, therefore inhibiting the outgrowth of distant metastasis of tumors. Recent insights have linked the Notch signaling pathway, a critical pathways governing embryonic development and maintaining tumor stemness, to cancer metastasis. This chapter highlights the current evidence for aberration of the Notch signaling in metastasis of tumors such as osteosarcoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. In these studies, Notch activity seems to participate in cancer metastasis by modulating the EMT, tumor angiogenesis processes, and the anoikis-resistance of tumor cells. Therefore, manipulating Notch signaling may represent a promising alternative/ complement therapeutic strategy targeting cancer metastasis besides cancer stemness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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