Identification of a Notch transcriptomic signature for breast cancer.

Braune EB, Geist F, Tang X, Kalari K, Boughey J, Wang L, Leon-Ferre RA, D'Assoro AB, Ingle JN, Goetz MP, Kreis J, Wang K, Foukakis T, Seshire A, Wienke D, Lendahl U

Breast Cancer Res. 26 (1) 4 [2024-01-03; online 2024-01-03]

Dysregulated Notch signalling contributes to breast cancer development and progression, but validated tools to measure the level of Notch signalling in breast cancer subtypes and in response to systemic therapy are largely lacking. A transcriptomic signature of Notch signalling would be warranted, for example to monitor the effects of future Notch-targeting therapies and to learn whether altered Notch signalling is an off-target effect of current breast cancer therapies. In this report, we have established such a classifier. To generate the signature, we first identified Notch-regulated genes from six basal-like breast cancer cell lines subjected to elevated or reduced Notch signalling by culturing on immobilized Notch ligand Jagged1 or blockade of Notch by γ-secretase inhibitors, respectively. From this cadre of Notch-regulated genes, we developed candidate transcriptomic signatures that were trained on a breast cancer patient dataset (the TCGA-BRCA cohort) and a broader breast cancer cell line cohort and sought to validate in independent datasets. An optimal 20-gene transcriptomic signature was selected. We validated the signature on two independent patient datasets (METABRIC and Oslo2), and it showed an improved coherence score and tumour specificity compared with previously published signatures. Furthermore, the signature score was particularly high for basal-like breast cancer, indicating an enhanced level of Notch signalling in this subtype. The signature score was increased after neoadjuvant treatment in the PROMIX and BEAUTY patient cohorts, and a lower signature score generally correlated with better clinical outcome. The 20-gene transcriptional signature will be a valuable tool to evaluate the response of future Notch-targeting therapies for breast cancer, to learn about potential effects on Notch signalling from conventional breast cancer therapies and to better stratify patients for therapy considerations.

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NGI Stockholm (Genomics Production) [Service]

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PubMed 38172915

DOI 10.1186/s13058-023-01757-7

Crossref 10.1186/s13058-023-01757-7

pmc: PMC10765899
pii: 10.1186/s13058-023-01757-7

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