Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) ranks fifth in frequency worldwide amongst all human cancers causing one million deaths annually. Despite many promising treatment options, long-term prognosis remains dismal for the majority of patients who develop recurrence or present with advanced disease. Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved pathway crucial for the development and homeostasis of many organs including liver. Herein we showed that aberrant Notch1 is linked to HCC development, tumor recurrence and invasion, which might be mediated, at least in part, through the Notch1-E-Cadherin pathway. Collectively, these findings suggest that targeting Notch1 has important therapeutic value in hepatocellular carcinoma. In this regard, comparative analysis of the secretome of HepG2 and HepG2 Notch1 depleted cells identified novel secreted proteins related to Notch1 expression. Soluble E-Cadherin (sE-Cad) and Thrombospondin-1 (Thbs1) were further validated in human serum as potential biomarkers to predict response to Notch1 inhibitors for a tailored individualized therapy.
Giovannini, C., Minguzzi, M., Genovese, F., Baglioni, M., Gualandi, A., Ravaioli, M., … Gramantieri, L. (2016). Molecular and proteomic insight into Notch1 characterization in hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncotarget, 7(26). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9203