Does Notch play a tumor suppressor role across diverse squamous cell carcinomas?

Min Zhang, Sangita Biswas, Xin Qin, Wenrong Gong, Wenbin Deng, Hongjun Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The role of Notch pathway in tumorigenesis is highly variable. It can be tumor suppressive or pro-oncogenic, typically depending on the cellular context. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a cancer of the squamous cell, which can occur in diverse human tissues. SCCs are one of the most frequent human malignancies for which the pathologic mechanisms remain elusive. Recent genomic analysis of diverse SCCs identified marked levels of mutations in NOTCH1, implicating Notch signaling pathways in the pathogenesis of SCCs. In this review, evidences highlighting NOTCH's role in different types of SCCs are summarized. Moreover, based on accumulating structural information of the NOTCH receptor, the functional consequences of NOTCH1 gene mutations identified from diverse SCCs are analyzed, emphasizing loss of function of Notch in these cancers. Finally, we discuss the convergent view on an intriguing possibility that Notch may function as tumor suppressor in SCCs across different tissues. These mechanistic insights into Notch signaling pathways will help to guide the research of SCCs and development of therapeutic strategies for these cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2048-2060
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • mutation pattern
  • Notch pathway
  • Notch structure
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • tumor suppressor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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