Notch: A key regulator of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis

Alejandro Garcia, Jessica J. Kandel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The Notch signaling pathway is critical for many developmental processes including physiologic angiogenesis. Notch is also implicated in having a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Preclinical and clinical experience with anti-angiogenic strategies indicates that they may be limited by tumor resistance and recurrence, which has led to the search for alternative angiogenic treatment strategies. Significant progress has been made in shedding light on the complex mechanisms by which Notch signaling can influence tumor growth by disrupting vasculature in an array of tumor models (Ridgway et al., 2006). These results have led to the consideration of Notch as an attractive target to block tumor angiogenesis and inhibit growth. However, studies of inhibition of Notch signaling in different tumor models have uncovered similarly variable results, and some unexpected adverse effects. The ability of Notch to function in a context-dependent manner as a determinant of cell fate, a tumor suppressor, and an oncogene may partially explain the complexity in interpreted the role of Notch signaling inhibitors in preclinical tumor studies. In addition, Notch may also play an important role in metastasis via its direct effects on the vasculature and by modulation of epithelialmesenchymal transition in tumor cells. Here we present a current understanding of Notch signaling in tumor angiogenesis, and discuss recent work on the role of Notch in tumor metastatic progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Migration
  • Notch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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