Expression of Notch-1 and its ligands, Delta-like-1 and Jagged=1, is critical for glioma cell survival and proliferation
Receptors, Cell Surface
The Notch family of proteins plays an integral role in determining cell fates, such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. We show that Notch-1 and its ligands, Delta-like-1 and Jagged-1, are overexpressed in many glioma cell lines and primary human gliomas. Immunohistochemistry of a primary human glioma tissue array shows the presence in the nucleus of the Notch-1 intracellular domain, indicating Notch-1 activation in situ. Down-regulation of Notch-1, Delta-like-1, or Jagged-1 by RNA interference induces apoptosis and inhibits proliferation in multiple glioma cell lines. In addition, pretreatment of glioma cells with Notch-1 or Delta-like-1 small interfering RNA significantly prolongs survival in a murine orthotopic brain tumor model. These results show, for the first time, the dependence of cancer cells on a single Notch ligand; they also suggest a potential Notch juxtacrine/autocrine loop in gliomas. Notch-1 and its ligands may present novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of glioma.