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Mol Genet Genomics. 2006 Mar;275(3):251-63. Epub 2006 Jan 5.

The first deltex null mutant indicates tissue-specific deltex-dependent Notch signaling in Drosophila.

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Department of Biological Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, 278-8510 Noda, Chiba, Japan.


Notch (N) is a single-pass transmembrane receptor. The N signaling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that controls various cell-specification processes. Drosophila Deltex (Dx), a RING-domain E3 ubiquitin ligase, binds to the N intracellular domain, promotes N's endocytic trafficking to late endosomes, and was proposed to activate Suppressor of Hairless [Su(H)]-independent N signaling. However, it has been difficult to evaluate the importance of dx, because no null mutant of a dx family gene has been available in any organism. Here, we report the first null mutant allele of Drosophila dx. We found that dx was involved only in the subsets of N signaling, but was not essential for it in any developmental context. A strong genetic interaction between dx and Su(H) suggested that dx might function in Su(H)-dependent N signaling. Our epistatic analyses suggested that dx functions downstream of the ligands and upstream of activated Su(H). We also uncovered a novel dx activity that suppressed N signaling downstream of N.

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