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Pharmacological disruption of the Notch transcription factor complex


Lehal, Rajwinder; Zaric, Jelena; Vigolo, Michele; Urech, Charlotte; Frismantas, Viktoras; Zangger, Nadine; Cao, Linlin; Berger, Adeline; Chicote, Irene; Loubéry, Sylvain; Choi, Sung Hee; Koch, Ute; Blacklow, Stephen C; Palmer, Hector G; Bornhauser, Beat; González-Gaitán, Marcos; Arsenijevic, Yvan; Zoete, Vincent; Aster, Jon C; Bourquin, Jean-Pierre; Radtke, Freddy (2020). Pharmacological disruption of the Notch transcription factor complex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(28):16292-16301.

Abstract

Notch pathway signaling is implicated in several human cancers. Aberrant activation and mutations of Notch signaling components are linked to tumor initiation, maintenance, and resistance to cancer therapy. Several strategies, such as monoclonal antibodies against Notch ligands and receptors, as well as small-molecule γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), have been developed to interfere with Notch receptor activation at proximal points in the pathway. However, the use of drug-like small molecules to target the downstream mediators of Notch signaling, the Notch transcription activation complex, remains largely unexplored. Here, we report the discovery of an orally active small-molecule inhibitor (termed CB-103) of the Notch transcription activation complex. We show that CB-103 inhibits Notch signaling in primary human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other Notch-dependent human tumor cell lines, and concomitantly induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, thereby impairing proliferation, including in GSI-resistant human tumor cell lines with chromosomal translocations and rearrangements in Notch genes. CB-103 produces Notch loss-of-function phenotypes in flies and mice and inhibits the growth of human breast cancer and leukemia xenografts, notably without causing the dose-limiting intestinal toxicity associated with other Notch inhibitors. Thus, we describe a pharmacological strategy that interferes with Notch signaling by disrupting the Notch transcription complex and shows therapeutic potential for treating Notch-driven cancers.

Abstract

Notch pathway signaling is implicated in several human cancers. Aberrant activation and mutations of Notch signaling components are linked to tumor initiation, maintenance, and resistance to cancer therapy. Several strategies, such as monoclonal antibodies against Notch ligands and receptors, as well as small-molecule γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), have been developed to interfere with Notch receptor activation at proximal points in the pathway. However, the use of drug-like small molecules to target the downstream mediators of Notch signaling, the Notch transcription activation complex, remains largely unexplored. Here, we report the discovery of an orally active small-molecule inhibitor (termed CB-103) of the Notch transcription activation complex. We show that CB-103 inhibits Notch signaling in primary human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and other Notch-dependent human tumor cell lines, and concomitantly induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis, thereby impairing proliferation, including in GSI-resistant human tumor cell lines with chromosomal translocations and rearrangements in Notch genes. CB-103 produces Notch loss-of-function phenotypes in flies and mice and inhibits the growth of human breast cancer and leukemia xenografts, notably without causing the dose-limiting intestinal toxicity associated with other Notch inhibitors. Thus, we describe a pharmacological strategy that interferes with Notch signaling by disrupting the Notch transcription complex and shows therapeutic potential for treating Notch-driven cancers.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Language:English
Date:14 July 2020
Deposited On:27 Jan 2021 08:53
Last Modified:01 Mar 2021 16:21
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1922606117
PubMed ID:32601208

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