Notch3 Signaling and Aggregation as Targets for the Treatment of CADASIL and Other NOTCH3-Associated Small-Vessel Diseases

Date Published:

2021 11


Mutations in the NOTCH3 gene can lead to small-vessel disease in humans, including the well-characterized cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), a condition caused by NOTCH3 mutations altering the number of cysteine residues in the extracellular domain of Notch3. Growing evidence indicates that other types of mutations in NOTCH3, including cysteine-sparing missense mutations or frameshift and premature stop codons, can lead to small-vessel disease phenotypes of variable severity or penetrance. There are currently no disease-modifying therapies for small-vessel disease, including those associated with NOTCH3 mutations. A deeper understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms and clearly defined targets are needed to promote the development of therapies. This review discusses two key pathophysiological mechanisms believed to contribute to the emergence and progression of small-vessel disease associated with NOTCH3 mutations: abnormal Notch3 aggregation and aberrant Notch3 signaling. This review offers a summary of the literature supporting and challenging the relevance of these mechanisms, together with an overview of available preclinical experiments derived from these mechanisms. It highlights knowledge gaps and future research directions. In view of recent evidence demonstrating the relatively high frequency of NOTCH3 mutations in the population, and their potential role in promoting small-vessel disease, progress in the development of therapies for NOTCH3-associated small-vessel disease is urgently needed.

See also: November 2021, All, 2021
Last updated on 12/01/2021