Gamma Secretase Inhibitors as Potential Therapeutic Targets for Notch Signaling in Uterine Leiomyosarcoma

Yasmin Abedin, Sofia Gabrilovich, Emily Alpert, Erica Rego, Salma Begum, Qingshi Zhao, Debra Heller, Mark H. Einstein, Nataki C. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Uterine leiomyosarcoma (uLMS) is a rare and aggressive cancer with few effective thera-peutics. The Notch signaling pathway is evolutionarily conserved with oncogenic properties, but it has not been well studied in uLMS. The purpose of our study was to determine expression of Notch family genes and proteins and to investigate the therapeutic effect of γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), in-direct inhibitors of Notch signaling, in uLMS. We determined expression of Notch genes and proteins in benign uterine smooth muscle tissue, fibroids, and uLMS samples by immunostaining and in two uLMS cell lines, SK-UT-1B (uterine primary) and SK-LMS-1 (vulvar metastasis) by RT-PCR, Western blot and immunostaining. We exposed our cell lines to GSIs, DAPT and MK-0752, and measured expression of HES1, a downstream effector of Notch. Notch proteins were differentially expressed in uLMS. Expression of NOTCH3 and NOTCH4 was higher in uLMS samples than in benign uterine smooth muscle and fibroids. Expression of NOTCH4 was higher in SK-LMS-1 compared to SK-UT-1B. Exposure of SK-UT-1B and SK-LMS-1 to DAPT and MK-0752 decreased expression of HES1 and decreased uLMS cell viability in a dose-and time-dependent manner that was unique to each GSI. Our findings suggest that GSIs are potential therapeutics for uLMS, albeit with limited efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5980
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • notch signaling
  • uterine cancer
  • uterine leiomyosarcoma
  • γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI)


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