The NOTCH1-MYC highway toward T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Blood. 2017 Mar 2;129(9):1124-1133. doi: 10.1182/blood-2016-09-692582. Epub 2017 Jan 23.


T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is a highly proliferative hematologic malignancy that results from the transformation of immature T-cell progenitors. Aberrant cell growth and proliferation in T-ALL lymphoblasts are sustained by activation of strong oncogenic drivers promoting cell anabolism and cell cycle progression. Oncogenic NOTCH signaling, which is activated in more than 65% of T-ALL patients by activating mutations in the NOTCH1 gene, has emerged as a major regulator of leukemia cell growth and metabolism. T-ALL NOTCH1 mutations result in ligand-independent and sustained NOTCH1-receptor signaling, which translates into activation of a broad transcriptional program dominated by upregulation of genes involved in anabolic pathways. Among these, the MYC oncogene plays a major role in NOTCH1-induced transformation. As result, the oncogenic activity of NOTCH1 in T-ALL is strictly dependent on MYC upregulation, which makes the NOTCH1-MYC regulatory circuit an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of T-ALL.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Receptor, Notch1 / genetics*
  • Receptor, Notch1 / metabolism


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptor, Notch1