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APMIS. 2012 Jun;120(6):441-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2011.02825.x. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Down-regulation of Notch receptor signaling pathway induces caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptosis in lung squamous cell carcinoma cells.

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Department of Pathology, Central South University, Changsha, China.


Notch receptor signaling pathway (NRSP) is increasingly linked to carcinogenesis. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) appears to actively utilize this conserved developmental pathway. The aims of this study are to determine whether or not Notch 1-4 are overexpressed in NSCLC tissues compared with normal lung tissues and whether inhibiting NRSP could induce caspase-dependent or caspase-independent apoptosis. Immunohistochemistry was used to evaluate the expression of Notch 1-4 in 101 NSCLC tissue samples and 30 normal lung tissue samples. DAPT was used to repress NRSP in SK-MES-1 cells. Apoptosis was determined by Annexin V and PI staining. Cleaved poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) was measured by Western blot; X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) and Survivin were assessed by qRT-PCR and Western blot; the release of second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (Smac) from mitochondria to cytoplasm was evaluated by Western blot; the subcellular locations of endonuclease G (Endo G) and apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) were observed by Western blot and indirect immunofluorescence analysis. (Mech Dev, 98, 2000, 95) Notch 1-4 are up-regulated in NSCLC tissues and Notch 1, 2 are positively correlated with lymph node metastasis, (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106, 2009, 22293) DAPT treatment could inhibit NRSP and induce apoptosis, with a marked increase in cleaved PARP, decreases in XIAP and Survivin proteins and concomitant release of Smac, EndoG, and AIF from mitochondria, indicating that inhibiting NRSP by DAPT triggers caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptosis.

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