Wnt and Notch signaling pathways both play essential roles and interact closely in development and carcinogenesis, but their interaction in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is poorly unknown. Here we investigated the effects of CHIR99021, a Wnt signaling agonist, or Notch3-shRNA, or the combined application of CHIR99021 and Notch3-shRNA on cell proliferation and apoptosis, as well as the expressions of Notch3, its downstream genes, cyclinA and caspase-3. Our results showed that CHIR99021 up-regulated the expression of Notch3 protein and HES1 and HEYL mRNA. CHIR99021 promoted cell proliferation and the expression of cyclinA, which were inhibited by Notch3-shRNA in these three cell lines. Moreover, Notch3-shRNA significantly attenuated the positive effects of CHIR99021 on cell proliferation and cyclinA in H460 and H157. As for apoptosis, Notch3-shRNA induced cell apoptosis and increased the expression of caspase-3, whereas CHIR99021 showed the different effects in these three cell lines. The inhibitory effect of CHIR99021 on apoptosis was significantly weakened by Notch3-shRNA only in H460. Overall, although the effects of CHIR99021 and the combined application of CHIR99021 and Notch3-shRNA on the cell proliferation and apoptosis aren't completely similar in the three cell lines, our findings still indicate that Notch3 signaling can be activated by canonical Wnt signaling and a functional link between Wnt and Notch signaling pathways exists in NSCLC, at least, which partially is associated with their regulations on the expressions of cyclinA and caspase-3.
Li, C., Zhang, S., Lu, Y., Zhang, Y., Wang, E., & Cui, Z. (2013). The roles of Notch3 on the cell proliferation and apoptosis induced by CHIR99021 in NSCLC cell lines: A functional link between Wnt and Notch signaling pathways. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084659