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Blood. 2004 Sep 15;104(6):1696-702. Epub 2004 Jun 8.

Mastermind critically regulates Notch-mediated lymphoid cell fate decisions.

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Division of Hematology-Oncology, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6160, USA.


During lymphoid development, Notch1 plays a critical role in the T-cell/B-cell lineage decision, while Notch2 is essential for marginal zone B-cell (MZB) development. Notch pathway activation induces translocation of intracellular Notch (ICN) to the nucleus, where it interacts with the transcription factor CSL (CBF1/RBP-Jk, Suppressor of Hairless, Lag-1). In vitro, ICN binds Mastermind-like proteins, which act as potent Notch coactivators. Three MAML family members (MAML1-3) have been identified in mammals, but their importance in vivo is unknown. To investigate the function of MAMLs in hematopoietic development, we introduced a dominant negative (DN) mutant of MAML1, capable of inhibiting Notch1-4, in murine hematopoietic stem cells. DNMAML1 resulted in early inhibition of T-cell development and the appearance of intrathymic B cells, phenotypes consistent with Notch1 inhibition. The T-cell differentiation block was as profound as that produced by enforced expression of the Notch modulator Deltex1. In DNMAML1-transduced spleen cells, a dramatic decrease in MZB cells was present, consistent with Notch2 inhibition. In contrast, Deltex1 did not decrease MZB cell numbers. These results suggest a critical role for MAMLs during Notch-mediated cell fate decisions in vivo and indicate that DNMAML1, but not Deltex1, can be used to interfere with the function of multiple Notch family members.

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