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      Synergy between the ESCRT-III complex and Deltex defines a ligand-independent Notch signal

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          The ESCRT-III complex component Shrub plays a pivotal rate-limiting step in late endosomal ligand-independent Notch activation.


          The Notch signaling pathway defines a conserved mechanism that regulates cell fate decisions in metazoans. Signaling is modulated by a broad and multifaceted genetic circuitry, including members of the endocytic machinery. Several individual steps in the endocytic pathway have been linked to the positive or negative regulation of the Notch receptor. In seeking genetic elements involved in regulating the endosomal/lysosomal degradation of Notch, mediated by the molecular synergy between the ubiquitin ligase Deltex and Kurtz, the nonvisual β-arrestin in Drosophila, we identified Shrub, a core component of the ESCRT-III complex as a key modulator of this synergy. Shrub promotes the lysosomal degradation of the receptor by mediating its delivery into multivesicular bodies (MVBs). However, the interplay between Deltex, Kurtz, and Shrub can bypass this path, leading to the activation of the receptor. Our analysis shows that Shrub plays a pivotal rate-limiting step in late endosomal ligand-independent Notch activation, depending on the Deltex-dependent ubiquitinylation state of the receptor. This activation mode of the receptor emphasizes the complexity of Notch signal modulation in a cell and has significant implications for both development and disease.

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          Most cited references 59

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          The canonical Notch signaling pathway: unfolding the activation mechanism.

          Notch signaling regulates many aspects of metazoan development and tissue renewal. Accordingly, the misregulation or loss of Notch signaling underlies a wide range of human disorders, from developmental syndromes to adult-onset diseases and cancer. Notch signaling is remarkably robust in most tissues even though each Notch molecule is irreversibly activated by proteolysis and signals only once without amplification by secondary messenger cascades. In this Review, we highlight recent studies in Notch signaling that reveal new molecular details about the regulation of ligand-mediated receptor activation, receptor proteolysis, and target selection.
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            Notch signaling: cell fate control and signal integration in development.

            Notch signaling defines an evolutionarily ancient cell interaction mechanism, which plays a fundamental role in metazoan development. Signals exchanged between neighboring cells through the Notch receptor can amplify and consolidate molecular differences, which eventually dictate cell fates. Thus, Notch signals control how cells respond to intrinsic or extrinsic developmental cues that are necessary to unfold specific developmental programs. Notch activity affects the implementation of differentiation, proliferation, and apoptotic programs, providing a general developmental tool to influence organ formation and morphogenesis.
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              Notch signalling: a simple pathway becomes complex.

               S Bray (2006)
              A small number of signalling pathways are used iteratively to regulate cell fates, cell proliferation and cell death in development. Notch is the receptor in one such pathway, and is unusual in that most of its ligands are also transmembrane proteins; therefore signalling is restricted to neighbouring cells. Although the intracellular transduction of the Notch signal is remarkably simple, with no secondary messengers, this pathway functions in an enormous diversity of developmental processes and its dysfunction is implicated in many cancers.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Biol
                J. Cell Biol
                The Journal of Cell Biology
                The Rockefeller University Press
                12 December 2011
                : 195
                : 6
                : 1005-1015
                [1 ]Department of Cell Biology and [2 ]Immune Disease Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115
                [3 ]Collège de France, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
                Author notes
                Correspondence to Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas: artavanis@
                © 2011 Hori et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at

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