Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crucial Roles In Drosophila Development For Little-Known Protein

April 7, 2005
Public Library Of Science
The Notch pathway is an important mechanism for communication between cells. In this paper, the roles of two related proteins in the Notch pathway are unravelled.

Expression of D-mib in Dorsal Cells Is Sufficient to Rescue the D-mib Mutant Phenotype (A) Expression of D-mib (green) in dorsal cells, using Ser-GAL4, rescued the growth of the wing pouch and margin Cut (red) expression in D-mib2/D-mib3 mutant discs. (B–D′′′) Ser-GAL4-driven expression of YFP::D-mib (green) rescued the D-mib2/D-mib3 phenotype and strongly reduced the level of Dl (blue in [B, B′, C, C′′, D, and D′′]) and Ser (red in [B, B′′, C, C′′′, D, and D′′′]) in dorsal cells. (C–D′′′) are high-magnification views (apical [C–C′′′] and basal [D–D′′′]) of the disc shown in (B–B′′). YFP::D-mib co-localized with Dl and Ser at the apical cortex in cells expressing only low levels of YFP::D-mib. Bar is 50 μm for (A–B′′) and 10 μm for (C–D′′′). From: Le Borgne R, Remaud S, Hamel S, Schweisguth F (2005) Two Distinct E3 Ubiquitin Ligases Have Complementary Functions in the Regulation of Delta and Serrate Signaling in Drosophila. PLoS Biol 3(4): e96.

In the intricate dance of animal development, several critical steps are choreographed by the Notch receptor and its ligands, including Delta (Dl) and Serrate (Ser). When these ligands bind, an intracellular segment of the receptor is cleaved off and becomes a transcriptional regulator within the nucleus. While Dl and Ser both occur in Drosophila, and appear to have similar interactions with Notch, less is known about exactly how they trigger Notch activity. In particular, few details are known about the activators of Dl and Ser, which begin the cascade ultimately leading to Notch signaling. In this issue, Franηois Schweisguth and colleagues show that two activators, Drosophila mind bomb (D-mib) and Neuralized (Neur), while sharing a similar molecular activity, have distinct roles in Notch-related Drosophila development, and elucidate several important activities of the heretofore mysterious D-mib.

D-mib and Neur are ubiquitin ligases, enzymes that attach the small protein ubiquitin onto a target protein. While ubiquitination was first appreciated as a tag for protein degradation, more recently, it has been recognized to be a signal for endocytosis, a process that brings substances outside a cell into the cell. Endocytosis, in turn, has recently been found to be a key step in Dl activation of Notch; its importance to Ser signaling has not been previously identified. In Drosophila, Neur targets Dl, and Dl is endocytosed. In zebrafish, Dl is a target for a separate ubiquitin ligase, Mind bomb. But the function of the Drosophila homolog, D-mib, has not been elucidated. Thus, the essential questions in this study were, what role does D-mib play in Drosophila, and how is Ser signaling regulated?

Schweisguth and colleagues studied development in a D-mib mutant. The pattern of phenotypic changes seen was in keeping with a loss of Dl signaling, indicating that D-mib interacts with Dl, just as Neur does. But D-mib also interacts with the other Notch ligand, Ser, as shown by the aberrant distribution of Ser in the absence of D-mib. Furthermore, endocytosis of Ser occurred normally in the presence of D-mib, and was strongly inhibited in its absence. Acting through Notch, Ser activates a downstream gene that codes for a protein called Cut, whose absence leads to a particular pattern of wing defects. This pattern was seen in D-mib mutants, and could not be rescued by overexpressing Ser, thus indicating that D-mib not only prompts endocytosis of Ser, but allows it to trigger Notch signaling. It’s unclear whether D-mib ubiquitinates Ser, as this study did not specifically address that question.

While Neur and D-mib differ structurally, they share the same molecular function, ubiquitination of Notch ligands, and the authors show that, when ectopically expressed, each can at least partially compensate for the absence of the other. Nonetheless, they normally have distinct developmental functions, owing largely to the fact that they are expressed in different locations and at different times during development, and thus mutations in the two lead to different patterns of developmental aberrations.


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0030139

Published: March 15, 2005

Copyright: © 2005 Public Library of Science. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Citation: (2005) Crucial Roles in Drosophila Development for Little-Known Protein. PLoS Biol 3(4): e139.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library Of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

Public Library Of Science. "Crucial Roles In Drosophila Development For Little-Known Protein." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050328174552.htm>.
Public Library Of Science. (2005, April 7). Crucial Roles In Drosophila Development For Little-Known Protein. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050328174552.htm
Public Library Of Science. "Crucial Roles In Drosophila Development For Little-Known Protein." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050328174552.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This

More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Chimp Violence Study Renews Debate On Why They Kill

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) — The study weighs in on a debate over whether chimps are naturally violent or become that way due to human interference in the environment. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins