Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Assem, Mahfoud

First Committee Member

Fleckenstein, Lawrence

Second Committee Member

Murry, Daryl

Third Committee Member

Milavetz, Gary

Fourth Committee Member

Salem, Aliasger


Malignant glioma have poor prognosis resulting mainly from high level of cell proliferation and invasion and resistance to conventional therapy. Identification of novel targets that are critical elements in gliomagenesis may help improve therapeutic outcome. Using genome-wide explorations of a comprehensive glioma specimen population, we identified whole gain of chromosome 19 as one of the major chromosomal aberrations in high grade glioma that correlates to patients' outcomes. Our analysis revealed for the first time NOTCH3 as one of the most significant gene amplifications mapped to chromosome 19. This amplification is associated with worse outcome compared to tumors with non-amplified locus. NOTCH signaling pathway is essential for cell proliferation, stem cell maintenance and differentiation and its deregulation has been reported in several human cancers. NOTCHs are key positive regulators of cell-cell interactions, angiogenesis, cell adhesion and stem cell niche development which have been shown to play critical roles in gliomagenesis and glioma drug resistance. Our objective is to determine NOTCH3 molecular roles in glioma pathogenesis and aggressiveness. Here we show for the first time that NOTCH3 plays a role in glioma cell proliferation, cell migration, invasion and apoptosis. We also found a NOTCH3 glioma addiction phenomenon. Therefore, our study uncovers, for the first time, the prognostic value and the oncogenic function of NOTCH3 in gliomagenesis and supports NOTCH3 as a promising target of therapy in high grade glioma. Our studies allow the identification of a subset of population that may benefit from GSI-based therapies. This may lead to the design of novel strategies to improve therapeutic outcome of patients with glioma by establishing medical and scientific basis for personalized medicine.


Copy Number Alteration, EGFR, Invasion, Malignant glioma, NOTCH3, Oncogene


xiv, 148 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 133-148).


Copyright 2013 Mohammad Ali Yousef Alqudah