Notch signaling mediates hypoxia-induced tumor cell migration and invasion

C. Sahlgren, M.V. Gustafsson, S. Jin, L. Poellinger, U. Lendahl

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    Tumor hypoxia is linked to increased metastatic potential, but the molecular mechanisms coupling hypoxia to metastasis are poorly understood. Here, we show that Notch signaling is required to convert the hypoxic stimulus into epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), increased motility, and invasiveness. Inhibition of Notch signaling abrogated hypoxia-induced EMT and invasion, and, conversely, an activated form of Notch could substitute for hypoxia to induce these processes. Notch signaling deploys two distinct mechanisms that act in synergy to control the expression of Snail-1, a critical regulator of EMT. First, Notch directly upregulated Snail-1 expression by recruitment of the Notch intracellular domain to the Snail-1 promoter, and second, Notch potentiated hypoxia-inducible factor 1a (HIF-1a) recruitment to the lysyl oxidase (LOX) promoter and elevated the hypoxia-induced upregulation of LOX, which stabilizes the Snail-1 protein. In sum, these data demonstrate a complex integration of the hypoxia and Notch signaling pathways in regulation of EMT and open up perspectives for pharmacological intervention with hypoxia induced EMT and cell invasiveness in tumors. © 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)6392-6397
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS)
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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