The functional role of Notch signaling in human gliomas

Neuro Oncol. 2010 Feb;12(2):199-211. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/nop022. Epub 2009 Dec 14.


Gliomas are among the most devastating adult tumors for which there is currently no cure. The tumors are derived from brain glial tissue and comprise several diverse tumor forms and grades. Recent reports highlight the importance of cancer-initiating cells in the malignancy of gliomas. These cells have been referred to as brain cancer stem cells (bCSC), as they share similarities to normal neural stem cells in the brain. The Notch signaling pathway is involved in cell fate decisions throughout normal development and in stem cell proliferation and maintenance. The role of Notch in cancer is now firmly established, and recent data implicate a role for Notch signaling also in gliomas and bCSC. In this review, we explore the role of the Notch signaling pathway in gliomas with emphasis on its role in normal brain development and its interplay with pathways and processes that are characteristic of malignant gliomas.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Receptors, Notch