AffiliationDepartment of Pharmacy, Health and Nutritional Sciences, University of Calabria, 87036 Rende, Italy.
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AbstractThe Notch signaling pathway acts in both physiological and pathological conditions, including embryonic development and tumorigenesis. In cancer progression, diverse mechanisms are involved in Notch-mediated biological responses, including angiogenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal-transition (EMT). During EMT, the activation of cellular programs facilitated by transcriptional repressors results in epithelial cells losing their differentiated features, like cell⁻cell adhesion and apical⁻basal polarity, whereas they gain motility. As it concerns cancer epithelial cells, EMT may be consequent to the evolution of genetic/epigenetic instability, or triggered by factors that can act within the tumor microenvironment. Following a description of the Notch signaling pathway and its major regulatory nodes, we focus on studies that have given insights into the functional interaction between Notch signaling and either hypoxia or estrogen in breast cancer cells, with a particular focus on EMT. Furthermore, we describe the role of hypoxia signaling in breast cancer cells and discuss recent evidence regarding a functional interaction between HIF-1α and GPER in both breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). On the basis of these studies, we propose that a functional network between HIF-1α, GPER and Notch may integrate tumor microenvironmental cues to induce robust EMT in cancer cells. Further investigations are required in order to better understand how hypoxia and estrogen signaling may converge on Notch-mediated EMT within the context of the stroma and tumor cells interaction. However, the data discussed here may anticipate the potential benefits of further pharmacological strategies targeting breast cancer progression.
CitationCrosstalk between Notch, HIF-1α and GPER in breast cancer EMT. 2018, 19(7): Int J Mol Sci
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
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