► Potent antibodies that antagonise mouse and human Notch signalling are generated. ► Receptor specific inhibition of Notch1 and 2 signalling is demonstrated. ► Antibody mediated inhibition of Notch influences neural stem cell differentiation.
Notch signalling occurs via direct cell–cell interactions and plays an important role in linking the fates of neighbouring cells. There are four different mammalian Notch receptors that can be activated by five cell surface ligands. The ability to inhibit specific Notch receptors would help identify the roles of individual family members and potentially provide a means to study and control cell differentiation. Anti-Notch antibodies in the form of single chain Fvs were generated from an antibody phage display library by selection on either the ligand binding domain or the negative regulatory region (NRR) of Notch1 and Notch2. Six antibodies targeting the NRR of Notch1 and four antibodies recognising the NRR of Notch2 were found to prevent receptor activation in cell-based luciferase reporter assays. These antibodies were potent, highly specific inhibitors of individual Notch receptors and interfered with endogenous signalling in stem cell systems of both human and mouse origin. Antibody-mediated inhibition of Notch efficiently down-regulated transcription of the immediate Notch target gene hairy and enhancer of split 5 (Hes5) in both mouse and human neural stem cells and revealed a redundant regulation of Hes5 in these cells as complete down-regulation was seen only after simultaneous blocking of Notch1 and Notch2. In addition, these antibodies promoted differentiation of neural stem cells towards a neuronal fate. In contrast to the widely used small molecule γ-secretase inhibitors, which block all 4 Notch receptors (and a multitude of other signalling pathways), antibodies allow blockade of individual Notch family members in a highly specific way. Specific inhibition will allow examination of the effect of individual Notch receptors in complex differentiation schemes regulated by the co-ordinated action of multiple signalling pathways.
Notch; Antagonistic antibody; Antibody phage-display; Neural stem cell
► We review the high resolution structures of the Notch receptor and ligands. ► Highlight the docking events of Notch receptor and ligand at the cell surface. ► Indicate the future challenges in understanding Notch receptor–ligand interactions.
The Notch receptor is part of a core signalling pathway which is highly conserved in all metazoan species. It is required for various cell fate decisions at multiple stages of development and in the adult organism, with dysregulation of the pathway associated with genetic and acquired diseases including cancer. Although cellular and in vivo studies have provided considerable insight into the downstream consequences of Notch signalling, relatively little is known about the molecular basis of the receptor/ligand interaction and initial stages of activation. Recent advances in structure determination of the extracellular regions of human Notch-1 and one of its ligands Jagged-1 have given new insights into docking events occurring at the cell surface which may facilitate the development of new highly specific therapies. We review the structural data available for receptor and ligands and identify the challenges ahead.
EGF, epidermal growth factor; CSL, CBF1/suppressor of hairless/Lag1; Notch signalling; cis/trans; Notch; Jagged; Epidermal growth factor-like
The Notch receptor and its ligands are key components in a core metazoan signalling pathway which regulates the spatial patterning, timing and outcome of many cell-fate decisions. Ligands contain a disulphide-rich Delta/Serrate/LAG-2 (DSL) domain required for Notch trans-activation or cis-inhibition. Here we report the first X-ray structure of a functional fragment of a Notch ligand, the DSL-EGF3 domains of human Jagged-1 (J-1DSL-EGF3). The structure identifies a highly conserved face of the DSL domain and we show, by functional analysis of Drosophila ligand mutants, that this surface is required for both cis- and trans-regulatory interactions with Notch. We also identify, using NMR, a surface of Notch-1 involved in J-1DSL-EGF3 binding. Our data imply that cis- and trans-regulation may occur through formation of structurally distinct complexes which, unexpectedly, involve the same surfaces on both ligand and receptor.
Like many signaling pathways in development, the Notch pathway also plays a role in cancers when it is dysregulated. Studies involving deletions of several epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like repeats in the extracellular domains of Drosophila Notch and mammalian Notch1 have identified potential ligand binding sites. However, the ligand binding domain in Notch3 is not known. Using a screening library of 155 peptides representing the entire 34 EGF-like repeats in Notch3, we discovered two distinct ligand binding regions involving the 7–10 and 21–22 repeats. They are also distinct from the putative ligand binding region of Notch1. The peptides from these regions induced apoptosis and reduced expression of the Notch3-dependent gene Hey1. They also bind directly to the ligand Jagged1, suggesting that the mechanism of activity involves the disruption of the interaction between Notch3 and Jagged1. Notch3 recombinant Fc-fusion proteins based on peptide sequences induced apoptosis and suppressed tumor growth in xenografts. The findings from this study provide a promising rationale and mechanistic basis for Notch3 receptor-targeted therapeutic development in the treatment of patients with lung cancer.
Notch3; Peptides; Lung Cancer
Notch receptors are core components of the Notch signaling pathway and play a central role in cell fate decisions during development as well as tissue homeostasis. Upon ligand binding, Notch is sequentially cleaved at the S2 site by an ADAM protease and at the S3 site by the γ-secretase complex. Recent X-ray structures of the negative regulatory region (NRR) of the Notch receptor reveal an auto-inhibited fold where three protective Lin12/Notch repeats (LNR) of the NRR shield the S2 cleavage site housed in the heterodimerization (HD) domain. One of the models explaining how ligand binding drives the NRR conformation from a protease-resistant state to a protease-sensitive one invokes a mechanical force exerted on the NRR upon ligand endocytosis. Here, we combined physics-based atomistic simulations and topology-based coarse-grained modeling to investigate the intrinsic and force-induced folding and unfolding mechanisms of the human Notch1 NRR. The simulations support that external force applied to the termini of the NRR disengages the LNR modules from the heterodimerization (HD) domain in a well-defined, largely sequential manner. Importantly, the mechanical force can further drive local unfolding of the HD domain in a functionally relevant fashion that would provide full proteolytic access to the S2 site prior to heterodimer disassociation. We further analyzed local structural features, intrinsic folding free energy surfaces, and correlated motions of the HD domain. The results are consistent with a model in which the HD domain possesses inherent mechanosensing characteristics that could be utilized during Notch activation. This potential role of the HD domain in ligand-dependent Notch activation may have implications for understanding normal and aberrant Notch signaling.
The Delta-Notch pathway is a signal exchanger between adjacent cells to regulate numerous differentiation steps during embryonic development. Blood vessel formation by sprouting angiogenesis requires high expression of the Notch ligand DLL4 in the leading tip cell, while Notch receptors in the trailing stalk cells are activated by DLL4 to achieve strong Notch signaling activity. Upon ligand binding, Notch receptors are cleaved by ADAM proteases and gamma-secretase. This releases the intracellular Notch domain that acts as a transcription factor. There is evidence that also Notch ligands (DLL1, DLL4, JAG1, JAG2) are processed upon receptor binding to influence transcription in the ligand-expressing cell. Thus, the existence of bi-directional Delta-Notch signaling has been proposed. We report here that the Notch ligands DLL1 and JAG1 are processed in endothelial cells in a gamma-secretase-dependent manner and that the intracellular ligand domains accumulate in the cell nucleus. Overexpression of JAG1 intracellular domain (ICD) as well as DLL1-ICD, DLL4-ICD and NOTCH1-ICD inhibited endothelial proliferation. Whereas NOTCH1-ICD strongly repressed endothelial migration and sprouting angiogenesis, JAG1-ICD, DLL1-ICD and DLL4-ICD had no significant effects. Consistently, global gene expression patterns were only marginally affected by the processed Notch ligands. In addition to its effects as a transcription factor, NOTCH1-ICD promotes cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix in a transcription-independent manner. However, JAG1-ICD, DLL1-ICD and DLL4-ICD did not influence endothelial cell adhesion. In summary, reverse signaling of Notch ligands appears to be dispensable for angiogenesis in cellular systems.
The Notch signaling pathway is a critical component of vascular formation and morphogenesis in both development and disease. Compelling evidence indicates that Notch signaling is required for the induction of arterial-cell fate during development and for the selection of endothelial tip and stalk cells during sprouting angiogenesis. In mammals, two of the four Notch receptors (Notch1 and Notch4) and three of the five Notch ligands (Jagged1, Dll1, and Dll4) are predominantly expressed in vascular endothelial cells and are important for many aspects of vascular biology. During arterial cell-fate selection and angiogenesis, the roles of Notch1 and Notch4 are thought to be similar, and the function of Dll4 is well-characterized. However, the molecular mechanisms that determine the functional similarities and differences of Notch ligands in vascular endothelial cells remain largely unknown; consequently, additional research is needed to elucidate the ligand-specific functions and mechanisms associated with Notch activation in the vascular endothelium. Results from recent studies indicate that Dll1 and Dll4 have distinct roles in the specification and maintenance of arterial cell identity, while Dll4 and Jagged1 have opposing functions in tip- and stalk-cell selection during sprouting angiogenesis. This review will focus on the newly discovered, distinct functions of several Notch ligands in the regulation of blood vessel formation and will provide perspectives for future research in the field.
Notch receptors are transmembrane receptors that regulate cell fate decisions. There are four Notch receptors in mammals. Upon binding to members of the Delta and Jagged family of transmembrane proteins, Notch is cleaved and the Notch intracellular domain (NICD) is released. NICD then translocates to the nucleus, where it associates with the CBF-1, Suppressor of Hairless, and Lag-2 (CSL) and Mastermind-Like (MAML) proteins. This complex activates the transcription of Notch target genes, such as Hairy Enhancer of Split (Hes) and Hes-related with YRPF motif (Hey). Notch signaling is critical for the regulation of mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Misexpression of Notch in skeletal tissue indicates a role as an inhibitor of skeletal development and postnatal bone formation. Overexpression of Notch inhibits endochondral bone formation and osteoblastic differentiation, causing severe osteopenia. Conditional inactivation of Notch in the skeleton causes an increase in cancellous bone volume and enhanced osteoblastic differentiation. Notch ligands are expressed in the hematopoietic stem cell niche and are critical for the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal. Dysregulation of Notch signaling is the underlying cause of diseases affecting the skeletal tissue, including Alagille syndrome, spondylocostal dysostosis, and possibly, osteosarcoma.
Notch receptors are normally cleaved during maturation by a furin-like protease at an extracellular site termed S1, creating a heterodimer of non-covalently associated subunits. The S1 site lies within a key negative regulatory region (NRR) of the receptor, which contains three highly conserved Lin12/Notch repeats and a heterodimerization domain (HD) that interact to prevent premature signaling in the absence of ligands. Because the role of S1 cleavage in Notch signaling remains unresolved, we investigated the effect of S1 cleavage on the structure, surface trafficking and ligand-mediated activation of human Notch1 and Notch2, as well as on ligand-independent activation of Notch1 by mutations found in human leukemia.
The X-ray structure of the Notch1 NRR after furin cleavage shows little change when compared with that of an engineered Notch1 NRR lacking the S1-cleavage loop. Likewise, NMR studies of the Notch2 HD domain show that the loop containing the S1 site can be removed or cleaved without causing a substantial change in its structure. However, Notch1 and Notch2 receptors engineered to resist S1 cleavage exhibit unexpected differences in surface delivery and signaling competence: S1-resistant Notch1 receptors exhibit decreased, but detectable, surface expression and ligand-mediated receptor activation, whereas S1-resistant Notch2 receptors are fully competent for cell surface delivery and for activation by ligands. Variable dependence on S1 cleavage also extends to T-ALL-associated NRR mutations, as common class 1 mutations display variable decrements in ligand-independent activation when introduced into furin-resistant receptors, whereas a class 2 mutation exhibits increased signaling activity.
S1 cleavage has distinct effects on the surface expression of Notch1 and Notch2, but is not generally required for physiologic or pathophysiologic activation of Notch proteins. These findings are consistent with models for receptor activation in which ligand-binding or T-ALL-associated mutations lead to conformational changes of the NRR that permit metalloprotease cleavage.
The Notch signaling pathway is critically involved in cell fate decisions during development of many tissues and organs. In the present study we employed in vivo and cell culture models to elucidate the role of Notch signaling in wound healing. The healing of full-thickness dermal wounds was significantly delayed in Notch antisense transgenic mice and in normal mice treated with γ-secretase inhibitors that block proteolytic cleavage and activation of Notch. In contrast, mice treated with a Notch ligand Jagged peptide showed significantly enhanced wound healing compared to controls. Activation or inhibition of Notch signaling altered the behaviors of cultured vascular endothelial cells, keratinocytes and fibroblasts in a scratch wound healing model in ways consistent with roles for Notch signaling in wound healing functions all three cell types. These results suggest that Notch signaling plays important roles in wound healing and tissue repair, and that targeting the Notch pathway might provide a novel strategy for treatment of wounds and for modulation of angiogenesis in other pathological conditions.
The Notch signaling pathway is known to play important roles in inner ear development. Previous studies have shown that the Notch1 receptor and ligands in the Delta and Jagged families are important for cellular differentiation and patterning of the organ of Corti. Delta/notch-like epidermal growth factor (EGF)-related receptor (DNER) is a novel Notch ligand expressed in developing and adult CNS neurons known to promote maturation of glia through activation of Notch. Here we use in situ hybridization and an antibody against DNER to carry out expression studies of the mouse cochlea and vestibule. We find that DNER is expressed in spiral ganglion neuron cell bodies and peripheral processes during embryonic development of the cochlea and expression in these cells is maintained in adults. DNER becomes strongly expressed in auditory hair cells during postnatal maturation in the mouse cochlea and immunoreactivity for this protein is strong in hair cells and afferent and efferent peripheral nerve endings in the adult organ of Corti. In the vestibular system, we find that DNER is expressed in hair cells and vestibular ganglion neurons during development and in adults. To investigate whether DNER plays a functional role in the inner ear, perhaps similar to its described role in glial maturation, we examined cochleae of DNER−/− mice using immunohistochemical markers of mature glia and supporting cells as well as neurons and hair cells. We found no defects in expression of markers of supporting cells and glia or myelin, and no abnormalities in hair cells or neurons, suggesting that DNER plays a redundant role with other Notch ligands in cochlear development.
cochlea; vestibular; development; maturation; Notch
Notch signaling is highly conserved in the metazoa and is critical for many cell fate decisions. Notch activation occurs following ligand binding to Notch extracellular domain. In vitro binding assays have identified epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeats 11 and 12 as the ligand binding domain of Drosophila Notch. Here we show that an internal deletion in mouse Notch1 of EGF repeats 8–12, including the putative ligand binding domain (lbd), is an inactivating mutation in vivo. We also show that maternal and zygotic Notch1lbd/lbd mutant embryos develop through gastrulation to mid-gestation.
Notch1lbd/lbd embryos died at mid-gestation with a phenotype indistinguishable from Notch1 null mutants. In embryonic stem (ES) cells, Notch1lbd was expressed on the cell surface at levels equivalent to wild type Notch1, but Delta1 binding was reduced to the same level as in Notch1 null cells. In an ES cell co-culture assay, Notch signaling induced by Jagged1 or Delta1 was reduced to a similar level in Notch1lbdand Notch1 null cells. However, the Notch1lbd/lbd allele was expressed similarly to wild type Notch1 in Notch1lbd/lbd ES cells and embryos at E8.75, indicating that Notch1 signaling is not essential for the Notch1 gene to be expressed. In addition, maternal and zygotic Notch1 mutant blastocysts developed through gastrulation.
Mouse Notch1 lacking the ligand binding domain is expressed at the cell surface but does not signal in response to the canonical Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1. Homozygous Notch1lbd/lbd mutant embryos die at ~E10 similar to Notch1 null embryos. While Notch1 is expressed in oocytes and blastocysts, Notch1 signaling via canonical ligands is dispensable during oogenesis, blastogenesis, implantation and gastrulation.
The Notch signal transduction pathway controls cell fate determination during metazoan development. The Notch gene encodes a transmembrane receptor that is cleaved upon activation, liberating the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which enters the nucleus and assembles transcriptional activation complexes that drive expression of Notch-responsive genes. The most conserved region of NICD is an ankyrin domain (Nank), which binds directly to the cytosolic effector protein Deltex (Dx), controlling intracellular Notch activity. However, the structural and energetic basis for this interaction remains unknown.
Here we analyze the thermodynamics and hydrodynamics of the Nank:Dx heteroassociation, and also a weaker Nank self-association, using sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC). By comparing g(s*) and c(s) distributions, and by direct fitting of sedimentation boundaries with thermodynamic association models, we were able to characterize the Nank:Dx heterodimer, measure its affinity, and map the interaction on the surface on Nank. N- and C-terminal deletions of whole ankyrin units implicate repeats three and four as key for mediating heteroassociation. An alanine scan across the interaction loops of Nank identify a conserved hot-spot in repeats three and four, centered at R127, as critical for Dx binding. In addition, we were able to detect weak but reproducible Nank homodimerization (Kd in the mM range). This association is disrupted by substitution of a conserved arginine (R107) with alanine, a residue previously implicated in a functionally relevant mode of interaction within dimeric transcription complexes. The distinct binding surfaces on Nank for homotypic versus Deltex interaction appear to be compatible with teterameric Notch2:Dx2 assembly.
Notch signaling; Deltex; ankyrin repeats; analytical ultracentrifugation; protein-protein interactions
Delta1, Jagged1, and Jagged2, commonly designated Delta/Serrate/LAG-2 (DSL) proteins, are known to be ligands for Notch1. However, it has been less understood whether they are ligands for Notch receptors other than Notch1. Meanwhile, ligand-induced cleavage and nuclear translocation of the Notch protein are considered to be fundamental for Notch signaling, yet direct observation of the behavior of the Notch molecule after ligand binding, including cleavage and nuclear translocation, has been lacking. In this report, we investigated these issues for Notch2. All of the three DSL proteins bound to endogenous Notch2 on the surface of BaF3 cells, although characteristics of Jagged2 for binding to Notch2 apparently differed from that of Delta1 and Jagged1. After binding, the three DSL proteins induced cleavage of the membrane-spanning subunit of Notch2 (Notch2TM), which occurred within 15 min. In a simultaneous time course, the cleaved fragment of Notch2TM was translocated into the nucleus. Interestingly, the cleaved Notch2 fragment was hyperphosphorylated also in a time-dependent manner. Finally, binding of DSL proteins to Notch2 also activated the transcription of reporter genes driven by the RBP-Jκ-responsive promoter. Together, these data indicate that all of these DSL proteins function as ligands for Notch2. Moreover, the findings of rapid cleavage, nuclear translocation, and phosphorylation of Notch2 after ligand binding facilitate the understanding of the Notch signaling.
The cell surface receptor Notch is required during development of Drosophila melanogaster for differentiation of numerous tissues. Notch is often required for specification of precursor cells by lateral inhibition and subsequently for differentiation of tissues from these precursor cells. We report here that certain embryonic cells and tissues that develop after lateral inhibition, like the connectives and commissures of the central nervous system, are enriched for a form of Notch not recognized by antibodies made against the intracellular region carboxy-terminal of the CDC10/Ankyrin repeats. Western blotting and immunoprecipitation analyses show that Notch molecules lacking this region are produced during embryogenesis and form protein complexes with the ligand Delta. Experiments with cultured cells indicate that Delta promotes accumulation of a Notch intracellular fragment lacking the carboxyl terminus. Furthermore, Notch lacking the carboxyl terminus functions as a receptor for Delta. These results suggest that Notch activities during development include generation and activity of a truncated receptor we designate NΔCterm.
Notch; Delta; neurogenesis; daughterless; differentiation
Background: The site of Jagged/Serrate ligand recognition by Notch is unknown.
Results: Two critical residues involved in an intramolecular hydrophobic interaction across the central β-sheet of EGF12 form a ligand-binding platform.
Conclusion: The ligand-binding region is adjacent to a Fringe-sensitive residue involved in modulating Notch activity.
Significance: The results have implications for understanding receptor/ligand recognition, Notch regulation by O-glycosylation, and the development of paralogue-specific antibodies.
We have mapped a Jagged/Serrate-binding site to specific residues within the 12th EGF domain of human and Drosophila Notch. Two critical residues, involved in a hydrophobic interaction, provide a ligand-binding platform and are adjacent to a Fringe-sensitive residue that modulates Notch activity. Our data suggest that small variations within the binding site fine-tune ligand specificity, which may explain the observed sequence heterogeneity in mammalian Notch paralogues, and should allow the development of paralogue-specific ligand-blocking antibodies. As a proof of principle, we have generated a Notch-1-specific monoclonal antibody that blocks binding, thus paving the way for antibody tools for research and therapeutic applications.
Notch; Notch Pathway; Notch Receptor; Signal Transduction; Signaling; DSL Domain; EGF Domain; Jagged; Notch; Serrate
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common malignant brain tumor that is characterized by high proliferative rate and invasiveness. Since dysregulation of Notch signaling is implicated in the pathogenesis of many human cancers, here we investigated the role of Notch signaling in GBM. We found that there is aberrant activation of Notch signaling in GBM cell lines and human GBM-derived neurospheres. Inhibition of Notch signaling via the expression of a dominant negative form of the Notch coactivator, mastermind-like 1 (DN-MAML1), or the treatment of a γ-secretase inhibitor, (GSI) MRK-003, resulted in a significant reduction in GBM cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Knockdown of individual Notch receptors revealed that Notch1 and Notch2 receptors differentially contributed to GBM cell growth, with Notch2 having a predominant role. Furthermore, blockade of Notch signaling inhibited the proliferation of human GBM-derived neurospheres in vitro and in vivo. Our overall data indicate that Notch signaling contributes significantly to optimal GBM growth, strongly supporting that the Notch pathway is a promising therapeutic target for GBM.
Notch signaling; glioblastoma; tumor neurospheres; γ-secretase inhibitor; cell growth
Notch receptors and their ligands play important roles in both normal animal development and pathogenesis. We show here that the F-box/WD40 repeat protein SEL-10 negatively regulates Notch receptor activity by targeting the intracellular domain of Notch receptors for ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation. Blocking of endogenous SEL-10 activity was done by expression of a dominant-negative form containing only the WD40 repeats. In the case of Notch1, this block leads to an increase in Notch signaling stimulated by either an activated form of the Notch1 receptor or Jagged1-induced signaling through Notch1. Expression of dominant-negative SEL-10 leads to stabilization of the intracellular domain of Notch1. The Notch4 intracellular domain bound to SEL-10, but its activity was not increased as a result of dominant-negative SEL-10 expression. SEL-10 bound Notch4 via the WD40 repeats and bound preferentially to a phosphorylated form of Notch4 in cells. We mapped the region of Notch4 essential for SEL-10 binding to the C-terminal region downstream of the ankyrin repeats. When this C-terminal fragment of Notch4 was expressed in cells, it was highly labile but could be stabilized by the expression of dominant-negative SEL-10. Ubiquitination of Notch1 and Notch4 intracellular domains in vitro was dependent on SEL-10. Although SEL-10 interacts with the intracellular domains of both Notch1 and Notch4, these proteins respond differently to interference with SEL-10 function. Thus, SEL-10 functions to promote the ubiquitination of Notch proteins; however, the fates of these proteins may differ.
Notch is a highly conserved transmembrane receptor that determines cell fate. Notch signaling denotes cleavage of the Notch intracellular domain, its translocation to the nucleus, and subsequent activation of target gene transcription. Involvement of Notch signaling in several cancers is well known, but its role in melanoma remains poorly characterized. Here we show that the Notch1 pathway is activated in human melanoma. Blocking Notch signaling suppressed whereas constitutive activation of the Notch1 pathway enhanced primary melanoma cell growth both in vitro and in vivo yet had little effect on metastatic melanoma cells. Activation of Notch1 signaling enabled primary melanoma cells to gain metastatic capability. Furthermore, the oncogenic effect of Notch1 on primary melanoma cells was mediated by β-catenin, which was upregulated following Notch1 activation. Inhibiting β-catenin expression reversed Notch1-enhanced tumor growth and metastasis. Our data therefore suggest a β-catenin–dependent, stage-specific role for Notch1 signaling in promoting the progression of primary melanoma.
Notch signaling is highly conserved in all metazoan animals and plays critical roles in cell fate specification, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and stem cell maintenance. Although core components of the Notch signaling cascade have been identified, many gaps in the understanding of the Notch signaling pathway remain to be filled. One form of posttranslational regulation, which is controlled by the ubiquitin-proteasome system, is known to modulate Notch signaling. The ubiquitination pathway is a highly coordinated process in which the ubiquitin moiety is either conjugated to or removed from target proteins by opposing E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases (DUBs). Several E3 ubiquitin ligases have been implicated in ubiquitin conjugation to the receptors and the ligands of the Notch signaling cascade. In contrast, little is known about a direct role of DUBs in Notch signaling in vivo. Here, we report an in vivo RNA interference screen in Drosophila melanogaster targeting all 45 DUBs that we annotated in the fly genome. We show that at least four DUBs function specifically in the formation of the fly wing margin and/or the specification of the scutellar sensory organ precursors, two processes that are strictly dependent on the balanced Notch signaling activity. Furthermore, we provide genetic evidence suggesting that these DUBs are necessary to positively modulate Notch signaling activity. Our study reveals a conserved molecular mechanism by which protein deubiquitination process contributes to the complex posttranslational regulation of Notch signaling in vivo.
deubiquitinase; Drosophila melanogaster; Notch signaling; ubiquitination
The Notch pathway is crucial for stem/progenitor cell maintenance, growth and differentiation in a variety of tissues. The Notch signaling is essential for Drosophila salivary gland development but its role in mammalian salivary gland remains unclear. The human salivary epithelial cell line, HSG, was studied to determine the role of Notch signaling in salivary epithelial cell differentiation. HSG expressed Notch 1 to 4, and the Notch ligands Jagged 1 and 2 and Delta 1. Treatment of HSG cells with inhibitors of γ-secretase, which is required for Notch cleavage and activation, blocked vimentin expression, an indicator of HSG differentiation. HSG differentiation was also associated with Notch downsteam signal Hes-1 expression, and Hes-1 expression was inhibited by γ-secretase inhibitors. siRNA corresponding to Notch 1 to 4 was used to show that silencing of all four Notch receptors was required to inhibit HSG differentiation. Normal human submandibular gland expressed Notch 1 to 4, Jagged 1 and 2, and Delta 1, with nuclear localization indicating Notch signaling in vivo. Hes-1 was also expressed in the human tissue, with staining predominantly in the ductal cells. In salivary tissue from rats undergoing and recovering from ductal obstruction, we found that Notch receptors and ligands were expressed in the nucleus of the regenerating epithelial cells. Taken together, these data suggest that Notch signaling is critical for normal salivary gland cell growth and differentiation.
Salivary Gland; Epithelial Cell Differentiation; Notch; Hes1
Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and Notch act as tumor suppressors by inhibiting epithelial cell proliferation. TGF-β additionally promotes tumor invasiveness and metastasis, whereas Notch supports oncogenic growth. We demonstrate that TGF-β and ectopic Notch1 receptor cooperatively arrest epithelial growth, whereas endogenous Notch signaling was found to be required for TGF-β to elicit cytostasis. Transcriptomic analysis after blocking endogenous Notch signaling uncovered several genes, including Notch pathway components and cell cycle and apoptosis factors, whose regulation by TGF-β requires an active Notch pathway. A prominent gene coregulated by the two pathways is the cell cycle inhibitor p21. Both transcriptional induction of the Notch ligand Jagged1 by TGF-β and endogenous levels of the Notch effector CSL contribute to p21 induction and epithelial cytostasis. Cooperative inhibition of cell proliferation by TGF-β and Notch is lost in human mammary cells in which the p21 gene has been knocked out. We establish an intimate involvement of Notch signaling in the epithelial cytostatic response to TGF-β.
Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that enables adjacent cells to adopt different fates. Ghost cells (GCs) are anucleate cells with homogeneous pale eosinophilic cytoplasm and very pale to clear central areas (previous nucleus sites). Although GCs are present in a variety of odontogenic lesions notably the calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor (GCOT), their nature and process of formation remains elusive. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Notch signaling in the cell fate specification of GCs in CCOT. Immunohistochemical staining for four Notch receptors (Notch1, Notch2, Notch3 and Notch4) and three ligands (Jagged1, Jagged2 and Delta1) was performed on archival tissues of five CCOT cases. Level of positivity was quantified as negative (0), mild (+), moderate (2+) and strong (3+). Results revealed that GCs demonstrated overexpression for Notch1 and Jagged1 suggesting that Notch1Jagged1 signaling might serve as the main transduction mechanism in cell fate decision for GCs in CCOT. Protein localizations were largely membranous and/or cytoplasmic. Mineralized GCs also stained positive implicating that the calcification process might be associated with upregulation of these molecules. The other Notch receptors and ligands were weak to absent in GCs and tumoral epithelium. Stromal endothelium and fibroblasts were stained variably positive.
Notch; Jagged; Delta; Calcifying cystic odontogenic tumor (CCOT); Ghost cells
Of the 20 or so signal transduction pathways that orchestrate cell-cell interactions in metazoans, seven are involved during development. One of these is the Notch signalling pathway which regulates cellular identity, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis via the developmental processes of lateral inhibition and boundary induction. In light of this essential role played in metazoan development, we surveyed a wide range of eukaryotic genomes to determine the origin and evolution of the components and auxiliary factors that compose and modulate this pathway.
We searched for 22 components of the Notch pathway in 35 different species that represent 8 major clades of eukaryotes, performed phylogenetic analyses and compared the domain compositions of the two fundamental molecules: the receptor Notch and its ligands Delta/Jagged. We confirm that a Notch pathway, with true receptors and ligands is specific to the Metazoa. This study also sheds light on the deep ancestry of a number of genes involved in this pathway, while other members are revealed to have a more recent origin. The origin of several components can be accounted for by the shuffling of pre-existing protein domains, or via lateral gene transfer. In addition, certain domains have appeared de novo more recently, and can be considered metazoan synapomorphies.
The Notch signalling pathway emerged in Metazoa via a diversity of molecular mechanisms, incorporating both novel and ancient protein domains during eukaryote evolution. Thus, a functional Notch signalling pathway was probably present in Urmetazoa.
Notch4 is a member of the Notch family of transmembrane receptors that is expressed primarily on endothelial cells. Activation of Notch in various cell systems has been shown to regulate cell fate decisions. The sprouting of endothelial cells from microvessels, or angiogenesis, involves the modulation of the endothelial cell phenotype. Based on the function of other Notch family members and the expression pattern of Notch4, we postulated that Notch4 activation would modulate angiogenesis. Using an in vitro endothelial-sprouting assay, we show that expression of constitutively active Notch4 in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) inhibits endothelial sprouting. We also show that activated Notch4 inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane in vivo. Activated Notch4 does not inhibit HMEC-1 proliferation or migration through fibrinogen. However, migration through collagen is inhibited. Our data show that Notch4 cells exhibit increased β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to collagen. HMEC-1 expressing activated Notch4 do not have increased surface expression of β1-integrins. Rather, we demonstrate that Notch4-expressing cells display β1-integrin in an active, high-affinity conformation. Furthermore, using function-activating β1-integrin antibodies, we demonstrate that activation of β1-integrins is sufficient to inhibit VEGF-induced endothelial sprouting in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. Our findings suggest that constitutive Notch4 activation in endothelial cells inhibits angiogenesis in part by promoting β1-integrin-mediated adhesion to the underlying matrix.