Jagged1 is the pathological link between Wnt and Notch pathways in colorectal cancer

Verónica Rodilla, Alberto Villanueva, Antonia Obrador-Hevia, Àlex Robert-Moreno, Vanessa Fernández-Majada, Andrea Grilli, Nuria López-Bigas, Nicolás Bellora, M. Mar Albà, Ferran Torres, Mireia Duñach, Xavier Sanjuan, Sara Gonzalez, Thomas Gridley, Gabriel Capella, Anna Bigas, Lluís Espinosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

283 Citations (Scopus)


Notch has been linked to β-catenin-dependent tumorigenesis; however, the mechanisms leading to Notch activation and the contribution of the Notch pathway to colorectal cancer is not yet understood. By microarray analysis, we have identified a group of genes downstream of Wnt/β-catenin (down-regulated when blocking Wnt/β-catenin) that are directly regulated by Notch (repressed by γ-secretase inhibitors and up-regulated by active Notch 1 in the absence of β-catenin signaling). We demonstrate that Notch is downstream of Wnt in colorectal cancer cells through /j-catenin-mediated transcriptional activation of the Notch-ligand Jaggedl. Consistently, expression of activated Notchl partially reverts the effects of blocking Wnt/β-catenin pathway in tumors implanted s.c. in nude mice. Crossing APC Min/+ with Jagged1 +/δ mice is sufficient to significantly reduce the size of the polyps arising in the APC mutant background indicating that Notch is an essential modulator of tumorigenesis induced by nuclear β-catenin. We show that this mechanism is operating in human tumors from Familial Adenomatous Polyposis patients. We conclude that Notch activation, accomplished by β-catenin-mediated up-regulation of Jaggedl, is required for tumorigenesis in the intestine. The Notch-specific genetic signature is sufficient to block differentiation and promote vasculogenesis in tumors whereas proliferation depends on both pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6315-6320
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2009


  • APC
  • Beta-catenin
  • Crosstalk
  • Intestine


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