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Cell. 1987 Nov 20;51(4):539-48.

Mutations altering the structure of epidermal growth factor-like coding sequences at the Drosophila Notch locus.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10021.


The Drosophila neurogenic protein Notch is largely composed of tandemly repeated copies of an epidermal growth factor-like sequence. Notch protein contains 36 EGF-like elements, but no two are identical. In the present study, eight mutations are correlated with single amino acid substitutions in EGF-homologous elements of this protein. Genetic analyses of the mutations and comparisons of DNA from mutant and wild-type flies indicate that differentiation of function exists among the tandemly repeated EGF-like sequences and that the total number of repeats and minor variations from the consensus repeat sequence are important for wild-type Notch protein function. One group of EGF-like repeats may be involved in the formation of functional Notch dimers or multimeric proteins. EGF-like elements in a second region of the Notch protein appear to govern its interaction with the product of Enhancer of split, another neurogenic locus of D. melanogaster.

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