Background: The Notch pathway is an evolutionarily conserved, intercellular signalling
system which is present in all multicellular organisms and mammals. The Notch pathway plays an
important role in the embryonic development as it controls cell proliferation, cell differentiation and
binary cell fate decisions.
Objective: In the present review, we highlight the Notch signalling pathway components i.e. Notch
receptors, ligands, effector, and their regulators. We also discuss the tumor biology of the Notch
pathway involved in various cancers.
Results: Interestingly, the Notch signalling pathway is dysregulated in many cancers. Notch may
serve as oncogene or tumor suppressor and plays an important role in cancers of the liver, pancreas,
endometrium of uterus, ovary, prostate, bladder and colon. The activation of Notch pathway plays a
vital role in the progression of some cancer. In addition, Notch pathway activation was also shown to
drive chemoresistance in cancer, as well. Chemotherapeutically, combined NOTCH1 inhibitor synergistically
attenuated chemotherapy-enriched cancer stem cell population both in vitro and in vivo. This
may prove to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer.
Conclusion: The Notch inhibitors possess anti-proliferative effects on cancer, thereby serving as a
new treatment for cancer.