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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic regions that interact with loss- and gain-of-function phenotypes of deltex implicate novel genes in Drosophila Notch signaling.

The Notch signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that regulates many cell fate decisions. The deltex (dx) gene encodes an E3-ubiquitin ligase that binds to the intracellular domain of the Notch protein and regulates Notch signaling in a positive manner. However, it is still not clear how Dx does this. We generated a transgenic line, GMR-dx, which overexpresses dx in the developing Drosophila eye disc. The GMR-dx line showed a rough-eye phenotype, specific transformation of a photoreceptor cell (R3 to R4), and a rotation defect in the ommatidia. This phenotype was suppressed in combination with a dx loss-of-function mutant, indicating that it was due to a dx gain-of-function. We previously reported that overexpression of Dx results in the stabilization of Notch in late endosomes. Here, we found that three motifs in Dx, a region that binds to Notch, a proline-rich motif and a RING-H2 finger, were required for this stabilization, although the relative activity of these variants in this assay did not always correspond to the severity of the rough-eye phenotype. In an attempt to identify novel genes of the Notch pathway, we tested a large collection of chromosomal deficiencies for the ability to modify the eye phenotypes of the GMR-dx line. Twelve genomic segments that enhanced the rough-eye phenotype of GMR-dx were identified. To evaluate the specificity of these interactions, we then determined whether the deletions also interacted with the wing phenotypes associated with a loss-of-function mutation of dx, dx24. Analyses based on whole-genome information allowed us to conclude that we have identified two novel loci that probably include uncharacterized genes involved in Dx- mediated Notch signaling.[1]


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