Notch1 ablation radiosensitizes glioblastoma cells

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Broad specific Notch1 inhibitors suppress glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) growth but have significant gastrointestinal toxicities. Here, we examined Notch1 expression in GBM tissue specimens and its correlation with the overall survival (OS) of GBM patients. Furthermore, using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, we investigated the effects of Notch1 downregulation on clonogenic growth and angiogenesis of GBM cells and xenografts. Immunohistochemistry showed positive Notch1 expression in 71% (49/69) of GBM tissues. Our multivariate Cox regression analysis further revealed that Notch1 expression was an independent adverse prognostic factor for OS. Notch1 downregulation suppressed the growth of GBM cells U87MG and U251. The mean duration to reach 6 x the starting volume was 18.3 days for xenografts with Notch1 downregulation and 13.4 days for the control xenografts. Immunofluorescent staining further disclosed that Notch1 downregulation markedly increased the number of γH2AX foci and radiosensitized GBM cells. Notch1 downregulation also impaired angiogenesis and attenuated VEGF and hypoxic response to irradiation in xenografts. In conclusion, Notch1 ablation inhibited GBM cell proliferation and neovascularization and radiosensitized GBM cells and xenografts, suggesting a pivotal role of Notch1 in tumor growth, angiogenesis, and radioresistance in GBM.




Han, N., Hu, G., Shi, L., Long, G., Yang, L., Xi, Q., … Zhang, M. (2017). Notch1 ablation radiosensitizes glioblastoma cells. Oncotarget, 8(50), 88059–88068.

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