Achaete-scute homolog-1 and Notch in lung neuroendocrine development and cancer

Cancer Lett. 2004 Feb 20;204(2):159-69. doi: 10.1016/S0304-3835(03)00452-X.


Achaete-scute homolog-1 (termed Mash1 in rodents, hASH1 in humans) is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor important in early development of neural and neuroendocrine (NE) progenitor cells in multiple tissues including the CNS, autonomic nervous system, adrenal medulla, thyroid, lung, and prostate, among others. This review discusses how progress in developmental neurobiology of Mash1 has translated into novel insights in NE tumor biology, particularly for small cell lung cancer. Inhibition of this factor by the Notch pathway is essential in regulating NE commitment in airway epithelial precursor cells, and may play a comparable role in modulating phenotypes of lung cancer and other tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Helix-Loop-Helix Motifs
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / metabolism*
  • Neurosecretory Systems / physiology
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • ASCL1 protein, human
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transcription Factors