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Cell. 1991 Nov 15;67(4):687-99.

Specific EGF repeats of Notch mediate interactions with Delta and Serrate: implications for Notch as a multifunctional receptor.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Cell Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.


The neurogenic loci Notch and Delta, which both encode EGF-homologous transmembrane proteins, appear to function together in mediating cell-cell communication and have been shown to interact at the cell surface in vitro. To examine the role of the EGF repeats in this interaction, we performed an extensive deletion mutagenesis of the extracellular domain of Notch. We find that of the 36 EGF repeats of Notch, only two, 11 and 12, are both necessary and sufficient to mediate interactions with Delta. Furthermore, this Delta binding ability is conserved in the corresponding two repeats from the Xenopus Notch homolog. We report a novel molecular interaction between Notch and Serrate, another EGF-homologous transmembrane protein containing a region of striking similarity to Delta, and show that the same two EGF repeats of Notch also constitute a Serrate binding domain. These results suggest that Notch may act as a multifunctional receptor whose 36 EGF repeats form a tandem array of discrete ligand-binding units, each of which may potentially interact with several different proteins during development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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