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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Role of the adaptor protein, beta-arrestin1, in the Notch signaling pathway Witty, Marie-France


The Notch receptor is part of a highly conserved signaling pathway shared in Drosophila, C. elegans and mammals. Extensive studies of Notch signaling have revealed its participation in the development of diverse organ systems including brain, blood cells, blood vessels, gut, and skin. Many genetic modifiers of the Notch signaling pathway have been identified, including some which act at the membrane and others in the nucleus. One such member is Deltex, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, which was originally identified as a modifier of Notch in a Drosophila genetic screen. In early lymphoid development, Deltex has been demonstrated functionally to antagonize Notch signaling but the precise molecular mechanism for this functional antagonism between Notch and Deltex is not understood. However, in Drosophila, recent data supports the formation of a trimeric complex between Deltex, Kurtz and Notch that promotes Notch ubiquitin-mediated proteosomal degradation. Beta-arrestin1 is one of the closest mammalian homologues of Kurtz and functions as an adaptor protein in a variety of cellular processes such as endocytosis, ubiquitination and nuclear shuttling. We hypothesize that a similar interaction occurs in mammalian cells between Notch, beta-arrestin1 and Deltex to negatively modulate the Notch signaling pathway. Our data reveal a physical interaction between beta-arrestin1 and the Notch receptor. We could not, however, detect an interaction between Deltex and beta-arrestin1 by co-immunoprecipitation. We also demonstrate that Notch and beta-arrestin1 physically associate with both a membrane-bound form of activated Notch, as well as the intracellular form of Notch after membrane cleavage. Using RNA interference, as well as overexpression of beta-arrestin1, we demonstrate that beta-arrestin1 negatively regulates a Notch/CSL dependant reporter assay. We also show that the presence of Deltex enhances the negative modulation of the Notch signaling pathway mediated by beta-arrestin1. Therefore, we reveal a new Notch interacting protein and a novel role for beta-arrestin1 in the Notch signaling pathway.

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