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Cell. 2000 Dec 8;103(6):957-69.

A notch-independent activity of suppressor of hairless is required for normal mechanoreceptor physiology.

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Division of Biology/CDB University of California, San Diego 92093, La Jolla, CA, USA.


Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)]/Lag-1/RBP-Jkappa/CBF1 is the only known transducing transcription factor for Notch receptor signaling. Here, we show that Su(H) has three distinct functions in the development of external mechanosensory organs in Drosophila: Notch-dependent transcriptional activation and a novel auto-repression function, both of which direct cell fate decisions, and a novel auto-activation function required for normal socket cell differentiation. This third phase of activity, the first known Notch-independent activation function for Su(H) in development, depends on a cell type-specific autoregulatory enhancer that is active throughout adult life and is required for proper mechanoreception. These results establish a direct link between a broadly deployed cell signaling pathway and an essential physiological function of the nervous system.

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