DataSheet_4_Doublecortin-Like Kinase 1 (DCLK1) Is a Novel NOTCH Pathway Signaling Regulator in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.pdf (419.91 kB)
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DataSheet_4_Doublecortin-Like Kinase 1 (DCLK1) Is a Novel NOTCH Pathway Signaling Regulator in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.pdf

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posted on 16.07.2021, 13:17 by Esther C. Broner, Jonathan A. Trujillo, Michael Korzinkin, Tejaswini Subbannayya, Nishant Agrawal, Ivan V. Ozerov, Alex Zhavoronkov, Lisa Rooper, Nikita Kotlov, Le Shen, Alexander T. Pearson, Ari J. Rosenberg, Peter A. Savage, Vasudha Mishra, Aditi Chatterjee, David Sidransky, Evgeny Izumchenko

Despite recent advancements, the 5 year survival of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) hovers at 60%. DCLK1 has been shown to regulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition as well as serving as a cancer stem cell marker in colon, pancreatic and renal cancer. Although it was reported that DCLK1 is associated with poor prognosis in oropharyngeal cancers, very little is known about the molecular characterization of DCLK1 in HNSCC. In this study, we performed a comprehensive transcriptome-based computational analysis on hundreds of HNSCC patients from TCGA and GEO databases, and found that DCLK1 expression positively correlates with NOTCH signaling pathway activation. Since NOTCH signaling has a recognized role in HNSCC tumorigenesis, we next performed a series of in vitro experiments in a collection of HNSCC cell lines to investigate the role of DCLK1 in NOTCH pathway regulation. Our analyses revealed that DCLK1 inhibition, using either a pharmacological inhibitor or siRNA, resulted in substantially decreased proliferation, invasion, migration, and colony formation. Furthermore, these effects paralleled downregulation of active NOTCH1, and its downstream effectors, HEY1, HES1 and HES5, whereas overexpression of DCLK1 in normal keratinocytes, lead to an upregulation of NOTCH signaling associated with increased proliferation. Analysis of 233 primary and 40 recurrent HNSCC cancer biopsies revealed that high DCLK1 expression was associated with poor prognosis and showed a trend towards higher active NOTCH1 expression in tumors with elevated DCLK1. Our results demonstrate the novel role of DCLK1 as a regulator of NOTCH signaling network and suggest its potential as a therapeutic target in HNSCC.

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