BMC Cancer. 2022 Oct 15;22(1):1065. doi: 10.1186/s12885-022-10003-w.
BACKGROUND: Activated mutations in NOTCH1 are drivers of T-cell type acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. The γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI), which suppresses the function of NOTCH1, is expected to be a molecular-targeted agent. NOTCH1 is also expressed in other malignant neoplasms. We aimed to determine the function of NOTCH1 expression and the effects of GSI on adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) caused by long-term human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-1) infection.
METHODS: We analyzed the expression of NOTCH1 in six ATL- and HTLV-1-infected cell lines and investigated the influence of activated NOTCH1 (i.e., the cleaved form of NOTCH1) together with GSI on cell proliferation.
RESULTS: Activated NOTCH1 found in ATL- and HTLV-1-infected cell lines was undetectable after incubation with GSI, regardless of Tax expression (HTLV-1-coded protein). Whole-exome sequencing revealed that activated NOTCH1 mutations were undetectable in six ATL- and HTLV-1-infected cell lines, regardless of abundant NOTCH1 expression. Moreover, GSI did not suppress the growth of ATL cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggested that NOTCH1 protein is constitutively activated but is likely a passenger during NOTCH1-mutation-negative ATL cell proliferation.