Photon-based radiotherapy upregulates Notch signaling in cancer, leading to the acquisition of the stem cell phenotype and induction of invasion/migration, which contributes to the development of resistance to therapy. However, the effect of carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) on Notch signaling in glioma and its impact on stemness and migration is not explored yet. Human glioma cell lines (LN229 and U251), stable Notch1 intracellular domain (N1ICD) overexpressing phenotype of LN229 cells, and Notch inhibitor resistant LN229 cells (LN229R) were irradiated with either photon (X-rays) or (carbon ion irradiation) CII, and expressions of Notch signaling components were accessed by RT-PCR, Western blotting, and enzymatic assays and flow cytometry. Spheroid forming ability, cell migration, and clonogenic assay were used to evaluate the effect of modulated Notch signaling by irradiation. Our results show that X-ray irradiation induced the expression of Notch signaling components such as Notch receptors, target genes, and ADAM17 activity, while CII reduced it in glioma cell lines. The differential modulation of ADAM17 activity by CII and X-rays affected the cell surface levels of NOTCH1 and NOTCH2 receptors, as they were reduced by X-ray irradiation but increased in response to CII. Functionally, CII reduced the spheroid formation and migration of glioma cells, possibly by downregulating the N1ICD, as stable overexpression of N1ICD rescued these inhibitory effects of CII. Moreover, LN229R that are less reliant on Notch signaling for their survival showed less response to CII. Therefore, downregulation of Notch signaling resulting in the suppression of stemness and impaired cell migration by CII seen here may reduce tumor regrowth and disease dissemination, in addition to the well-established cytotoxic effects.
- Carbon ion irradiation
- Notch signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology