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Development. 2000 Apr;127(7):1373-85.

Ligand endocytosis drives receptor dissociation and activation in the Notch pathway.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


Endocytosis of the ligand delta; is required for activation of the receptor Notch during Drosophila development. The Notch extracellular domain (NotchECD) dissociates from the Notch intracellular domain (NotchICD) and is trans-endocytosed into delta;-expressing cells in wild-type imaginal discs. Reduction of dynamin-mediated endocytosis in developing eye and wing imaginal discs reduces Notch dissociation and Notch signalling. Furthermore, dynamin-mediated delta endocytosis is required for Notch trans-endocytosis in Drosophila cultured cell lines. Endocytosis-defective delta proteins fail to mediate trans-endocytosis of Notch in cultured cells, and exhibit aberrant subcellular trafficking and reduced signalling capacity in Drosophila. We suggest that endocytosis into delta-expressing cells of NotchECD bound to delta plays a critical role during activation of the Notch receptor and is required to achieve processing and dissociation of the Notch protein.

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