Notch1 Signaling is activated in cells expressing embryonic stem cell proteins in human primary nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Yue Zhang, Jianhua Peng, Huxiang Zhang, Yi Zhu, Li Wan, Jianfu Chen, Xiaoyun Chen, Renyu Lin, He Li, Xiao Ou Mao, Kunlin Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore the expression of Notch1 signaling pathway in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods: We performed immunocytochemistry on surgically resected NPC using antibodies against embryonic stem (ES) cell proteins and against Notch1 signaling components. Results: We found that ES cell protein markers SOX2 and OCT4 were expressed in a subpopulation of cells for all three subtypes of NPC but barely in the normal control. Double immunostaining shows that SOX2- and OCT4-positive cells coexpressed proliferative markers, suggesting that human NPC may contain cancer stem-like cells. In addition, we found that Notch1 signaling was activated in NPC. Confocal images show that the Notch1 signaling activated form and Hes1, a downstream target of Notch1 signaling, was predominantly found in SOX2- and OCT4-positive cells. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the Notch1 signaling pathway might be a regulator of cancer stem-like cells in NPC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010


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