Targeting Notch signalling by design
The Notch pathway is highlighted as an interesting therapeutic target, and developing strategies for local containment of Notch inhibitors to the primary tumor would be a productive way towards improving cancer therapy. Specific control over Notch activity is also of interrest for regulating stem cell differentiation and regenerative therapy. We have recently described an approach to specifically target cell populations with nanoparticles and this technology is being further developed with the aim to specifically deliver Notch inhibitors to tumor cells to prevent cancer progression (Rosenholm et al., 2009 a,b,c, Rosenholm et al., 2010). The developed technology provides a system for efficient and tight dose control of Notch signaling activity in a cell specific manner. In addition to the obvious therapeutic value, such cell-specific action and tight dose control of the Notch pathway should provide a useful tool for analyses of the biological output of the pleiotropic and dose-dependent Notch pathway. Further aims include developing the technology for a precise control of Notch driven stem cells functions and developing the technology platform for imaging of stem cell functions and behaviour in vivo.