Publications

2007
Xu, A, Haines N, Dlugosz M, Rana NA, Takeuchi H, Haltiwanger RS, Irvine KD.  2007.  In vitro reconstitution of the modulation of Drosophila Notch-ligand binding by Fringe. The Journal of biological chemistry. 282:35153-62. AbstractWebsite
Notch signaling plays critical roles in animal development and physiology. The activation of Notch receptors by their ligands is modulated by Fringe-dependent glycosylation. Fringe catalyzes the addition of N-acetylglucosamine in a beta1,3 linkage onto O-fucose on epidermal growth factor-like domains. This modification of Notch by Fringe influences the binding of Notch ligands to Notch receptors. However, prior studies have relied on in vivo glycosylation, leaving unresolved the question of whether addition of N-acetylglucosamine is sufficient to modulate Notch-ligand interactions on its own, or whether instead it serves as a precursor to subsequent post-translational modifications. Here, we describe the results of in vitro assays using purified components of the Drosophila Notch signaling pathway. In vitro glycosylation and ligand binding studies establish that the addition of N-acetylglucosamine onto O-fucose in vitro is sufficient both to enhance Notch binding to the Delta ligand and to inhibit Notch binding to the Serrate ligand. Further elongation by galactose does not detectably influence Notch-ligand binding in vitro. Consistent with these observations, carbohydrate compositional analysis and mass spectrometry on Notch isolated from cells identified only N-acetylglucosamine added onto Notch in the presence of Fringe. These observations argue against models in which Fringe-dependent glycosylation modulates Notch signaling by acting as a precursor to subsequent modifications and instead establish the simple addition of N-acetylglucosamine as a basis for the effects of Fringe on Drosophila Notch-ligand binding.
Feng, Y, Irvine KD.  2007.  Fat and expanded act in parallel to regulate growth through warts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104:20362-7. AbstractWebsite
The conserved Drosophila tumor suppressors Fat and Expanded have both recently been implicated in regulating the activity of the Warts tumor suppressor. However, there has been disagreement as to the nature of the links among Fat, Expanded, and Warts and the significance of these links to growth control. We report here that mutations in either expanded or fat can be rescued to viability simply by overexpressing Warts, indicating that their essential function is their influence on Warts rather than reported effects on endocytosis or other pathways. These rescue experiments also separate the transcriptional from the planar cell polarity branches of Fat signaling and reveal that Expanded does not directly affect polarity. We also investigate the relationship between expanded and fat and show, contrary to prior reports, that they have additive effects on imaginal disk growth and development. Although mutation of fat can cause partial loss of Expanded protein from the membrane, mutation of fat promotes growth even when Expanded is overexpressed and accumulates at its normal subapical location. These observations argue against recent proposals that Fat acts simply as a receptor for the Hippo signaling pathway and instead support the proposal that Fat and Expanded can act in parallel to regulate Warts through distinct mechanisms.
2006
Cho, E, Feng Y, Rauskolb C, Maitra S, Fehon RG, Irvine KD.  2006.  Delineation of a Fat tumor suppressor pathway. Nature Genetics. 38:1142-50. AbstractWebsite
Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster of the protocadherins Dachsous and Fat suggest that they act as ligand and receptor, respectively, for an intercellular signaling pathway that influences tissue polarity, growth and gene expression, but the basis for signaling downstream of Fat has remained unclear. Here, we characterize functional relationships among D. melanogaster tumor suppressors and identify the kinases Discs overgrown and Warts as components of a Fat signaling pathway. fat, discs overgrown and warts regulate a common set of downstream genes in multiple tissues. Genetic experiments position the action of discs overgrown upstream of the Fat pathway component dachs, whereas warts acts downstream of dachs. Warts protein coprecipitates with Dachs, and Warts protein levels are influenced by fat, dachs and discs overgrown in vivo, consistent with its placement as a downstream component of the pathway. The tumor suppressors Merlin, expanded, hippo, salvador and mob as tumor suppressor also share multiple Fat pathway phenotypes but regulate Warts activity independently. Our results functionally link what had been four disparate groups of D. melanogaster tumor suppressors, establish a basic framework for Fat signaling from receptor to transcription factor and implicate Warts as an integrator of multiple growth control signals.
Major, RJ, Irvine KD.  2006.  Localization and requirement for Myosin II at the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary of the Drosophila wing. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 235:3051-8. AbstractWebsite
As organisms develop, their tissues can become separated into distinct cell populations through the establishment of compartment boundaries. Compartment boundaries have been discovered in a wide variety of tissues, but in many cases the molecular mechanisms that separate cells remain poorly understood. In the Drosophila wing, a stripe of Notch activation maintains the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary, through a process that depends on the actin cytoskeleton. Here, we show that the dorsal-ventral boundary exhibits a distinct accumulation of Myosin II, and that this accumulation is regulated downstream of Notch signaling. Conversely, the dorsal-ventral boundary is depleted for the Par-3 homologue Bazooka. We further show that mutations in the Myosin heavy chain subunit encoded by zipper can impair dorsal-ventral compartmentalization without affecting anterior-posterior compartmentalization. These observations identify a distinct accumulation and requirement for Myosin activity in dorsal-ventral compartmentalization, and suggest a novel mechanism in which contractile tension along an F-actin cable at the compartment boundary contributes to compartmentalization.
Mao, Y, Rauskolb C, Cho E, Hu W-L, Hayter H, Minihan G, Katz FN, Irvine KD.  2006.  Dachs: an unconventional myosin that functions downstream of Fat to regulate growth, affinity and gene expression in Drosophila. Development (Cambridge, England). 133:2539-51. AbstractWebsite
The dachs gene was first identified almost a century ago based on its requirements for appendage growth, but has been relatively little studied. Here, we describe the phenotypes of strong dachs mutations, report the cloning of the dachs gene, characterize the localization of Dachs protein, and investigate the relationship between Dachs and the Fat pathway. Mutation of dachs reduces, but does not abolish, the growth of legs and wings. dachs encodes an unconventional myosin that preferentially localizes to the membrane of imaginal disc cells. dachs mutations suppress the effects of fat mutations on gene expression, cell affinity and growth in imaginal discs. Dachs protein localization is influenced by Fat, Four-jointed and Dachsous, consistent with its genetic placement downstream of fat. However, dachs mutations have only mild tissue polarity phenotypes, and only partially suppress the tissue polarity defects of fat mutants. Our results implicate Dachs as a crucial downstream component of a Fat signaling pathway that influences growth, affinity and gene expression during development.
2005
Major, RJ, Irvine KD.  2005.  Influence of Notch on dorsoventral compartmentalization and actin organization in the Drosophila wing. Development (Cambridge, England). 132:3823-33. AbstractWebsite
Compartment boundaries play key roles in tissue organization by separating cell populations. Activation of the Notch receptor is required for dorsoventral (DV) compartmentalization of the Drosophila wing, but the nature of its requirement has been controversial. Here, we provide additional evidence that a stripe of Notch activation is sufficient to establish a sharp separation between cell populations, irrespective of their dorsal or ventral identities. We further find that cells at the DV compartment boundary are characterized by a distinct shape, a smooth interface, and an accumulation of F-actin at the adherens junction. Genetic manipulation establishes that a stripe of Notch activation is both necessary and sufficient for this DV boundary cell phenotype, and supports the existence of a non-transcriptional branch of the Notch pathway that influences F-actin. Finally, we identify a distinct requirement for a regulator of actin polymerization, capulet, in DV compartmentalization. These observations imply that Notch effects compartmentalization through a novel mechanism, which we refer to as a fence, that does not depend on the establishment of compartment-specific cell affinities, but does depend on the organization of the actin cytoskeleton.
Rogulja, D, Irvine KD.  2005.  Regulation of cell proliferation by a morphogen gradient. Cell. 123:449-61. AbstractWebsite
One model to explain the relationship between patterning and growth during development posits that growth is regulated by the slope of morphogen gradients. The Decapentaplegic (DPP) morphogen controls growth in the Drosophila wing, but the slope of the DPP activity gradient has not been shown to influence growth. By employing a method for spatial, temporal, and quantitative control over gene expression, we show that the juxtaposition of cells perceiving different levels of DPP signaling is essential for medial-wing-cell proliferation and can be sufficient to promote the proliferation of cells throughout the wing. Either activation or inhibition of the DPP pathway in clones at levels distinct from those in surrounding cells stimulates nonautonomous cell proliferation. Conversely, uniform activation of the DPP pathway inhibits cell proliferation in medial wing cells. Our observations provide a direct demonstration that the slope of a morphogen gradient regulates growth during development.
Okajima, T, Xu A, Lei L, Irvine KD.  2005.  Chaperone activity of protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 promotes notch receptor folding. Science. 307:1599-603. AbstractWebsite
Notch proteins are receptors for a conserved signaling pathway that affects numerous cell fate decisions. We found that in Drosophila, Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (OFUT1), an enzyme that glycosylates epidermal growth factor-like domains of Notch, also has a distinct Notch chaperone activity. OFUT1 is an endoplasmic reticulum protein, and its localization was essential for function in vivo. OFUT1 could bind to Notch, was required for the trafficking of wild-type Notch out of the endoplasmic reticulum, and could partially rescue defects in secretion and ligand binding associated with Notch point mutations. This ability of OFUT1 to facilitate folding of Notch did not require its fucosyltransferase activity. Thus, a glycosyltransferase can bind its substrate in the endoplasmic reticulum to facilitate normal folding.
Xu, A, Lei L, Irvine KD.  2005.  Regions of Drosophila Notch that contribute to ligand binding and the modulatory influence of Fringe. The Journal of biological chemistry. 280:30158-65. AbstractWebsite
Two glycosyltransferases that transfer sugars to epidermal growth factor (EGF) domains, OFUT1 and Fringe, regulate Notch signaling. To characterize the impact of glycosylation at the 23 consensus O-fucose sites in Drosophila Notch, we conducted deletion mapping and site-specific mutagenesis and then assayed the binding of soluble forms of Notch to cell-surface ligands. Our results support the conclusion that EGF11 and EGF12 are essential for ligand binding, but indicate that other EGF domains also make substantial contributions to ligand binding. Characterization of Notch deletion constructs and O-fucose site mutants further revealed that no single site or region can account for the influence of Fringe on Notch-ligand binding. Additionally, we observed an influence of Fringe on a Notch fragment including only 4 of its 36 EGF domains (EGF10-13). Together, our observations imply that glycosylation influences Notch-ligand interactions through a distributive mechanism that involves local interactions with multiple EGF domains and led us to suggest a structural model for how Notch interacts with its ligands.
Haines, N, Irvine KD.  2005.  Functional analysis of Drosophila beta1,4-N-acetlygalactosaminyltransferases. Glycobiology. 15:335-46. AbstractWebsite
Members of the mammalian beta1,4-galactosyltransferase family are among the best studied glycosyltransferases, but the requirements for all members of this family within an animal have not previously been determined. Here, we describe analysis of two Drosophila genes, beta4GalNAcTA (CG8536) and beta4GalNAcTB (CG14517), that are homologous to mammalian beta1,4-galactosyltransferases. Like their mammalian homologs, these glycosyltransferases use N-acetylglucosamine as an acceptor substrate. However, they transfer N-acetylgalactosamine rather than galactose. This activity, together with amino acid sequence similarity, places them among a group of recently identified invertebrate beta1,4-N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases. To investigate the biological functions of these genes, null mutations were generated by imprecise excision of a transposable element (beta4GalNAcTA) or by gene-targeted homologous recombination (beta4GalNAcTB). Flies mutant for beta4GalNAcTA are viable and fertile but display behavioral phenotypes suggestive of essential roles for GalNAc-beta1,4-GlcNAc containing glycoconjugates in neuronal and/or muscular function. beta4GalNAcTB mutants are viable and display no evident morphological or behavioral phenotypes. Flies doubly mutant for both genes display only the behavioral phenotypes associated with mutation of beta4GalNAcTA. Thus Drosophila homologs of the mammalian beta4GalT family are essential for neuromuscular physiology or development but are not otherwise required for viability, fertility, or external morphology.
2004
Cho, E, Irvine KD.  2004.  Action of fat, four-jointed, dachsous and dachs in distal-to-proximal wing signaling. Development. 131:4489-500. AbstractWebsite
In the Drosophila wing, distal cells signal to proximal cells to induce the expression of Wingless, but the basis for this distal-to-proximal signaling is unknown. Here, we show that three genes that act together during the establishment of tissue polarity, fat, four-jointed and dachsous, also influence the expression of Wingless in the proximal wing. fat is required cell autonomously by proximal wing cells to repress Wingless expression, and misexpression of Wingless contributes to proximal wing overgrowth in fat mutant discs. Four-jointed and Dachsous can influence Wingless expression and Fat localization non-autonomously, consistent with the suggestion that they influence signaling to Fat-expressing cells. We also identify dachs as a gene that is genetically required downstream of fat, both for its effects on imaginal disc growth and for the expression of Wingless in the proximal wing. Our observations provide important support for the emerging view that Four-jointed, Dachsous and Fat function in an intercellular signaling pathway, identify a normal role for these proteins in signaling interactions that regulate growth and patterning of the proximal wing, and identify Dachs as a candidate downstream effector of a Fat signaling pathway.
Koles, K, Irvine KD, Panin VM.  2004.  Functional characterization of Drosophila sialyltransferase. The Journal of biological chemistry. 279:4346-57. AbstractWebsite
Sialylation is an important carbohydrate modification of glycoconjugates in the deuterostome lineage of animals. By contrast, the evidence for sialylation in protostomes has been scarce and somewhat controversial. In the present study, we characterize a Drosophila sialyltransferase gene, thus providing experimental evidence for the presence of sialylation in protostomes. This gene encodes a functional alpha2-6-sialyltransferase (SiaT) that is closely related to the vertebrate ST6Gal sialyltransferase family, indicating an ancient evolutionary origin for this family. Characterization of recombinant, purified Drosophila SiaT revealed a novel acceptor specificity as it exhibits highest activity toward GalNAcbeta1-4GlcNAc carbohydrate structures at the non-reducing termini of oligosaccharides and glycoprotein glycans. Oligosaccharides are preferred over glycoproteins as acceptors, and no activity toward glycolipid acceptors was detected. Recombinant Drosophila SiaT expressed in cultured insect cells possesses in vivo and in vitro autosialylation activity toward beta-linked GalNAc termini of its own N-linked glycans, thus representing the first example of a sialylated insect glycoconjugate. In situ hybridization revealed that Drosophila SiaT is expressed during embryonic development in a tissue- and stage-specific fashion, with elevated expression in a subset of cells within the central nervous system. The identification of a SiaT in Drosophila provides a new evolutionary perspective for considering the diverse functions of sialylation and, through the powerful genetic tools available in this system, a means of elucidating functions for sialylation in protostomes.
2003
Okajima, T, Xu A, Irvine KD.  2003.  Modulation of notch-ligand binding by protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 and fringe. The Journal of biological chemistry. 278:42340-5. AbstractWebsite
Notch receptors are glycoproteins that mediate a wide range of developmental processes. Notch is modified in its epidermal growth factor-like domains by the addition of fucose to serine or threonine residues. O-Fucosylation is mediated by protein O-fucosyltransferase 1, and down-regulation of this enzyme by RNA interference or mutation of the Ofut1 gene in Drosophila or by mutation of the Pofut1 gene in mouse prevents Notch signaling. To investigate the molecular basis for the requirement for O-linked fucose on Notch, we assayed the ability of tagged, soluble forms of the Notch extracellular domain to bind to its ligands, Delta and Serrate. Down-regulation of OFUT1 by RNA interference in Notch-secreting cells inhibits both Delta-Notch and Serrate-Notch binding, demonstrating a requirement for O-linked fucose for efficient binding of Notch to its ligands. Conversely, overexpression of OFUT1 in cultured cells increases Serrate-Notch binding but inhibits Delta-Notch binding. These effects of OFUT1 are consistent with the consequences of OFUT1 overexpression on Notch signaling in vivo. Intriguingly, they are also opposite to, and are suppressed by, expression of the glycosyltransferase Fringe, which specifically modifies O-linked fucose. Thus, Notch-ligand interactions are dependent upon both the presence and the type of O-fucose glycans.
Haines, N, Irvine KD.  2003.  Glycosylation regulates Notch signalling. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. 4:786-97. AbstractWebsite
Intracellular post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitylation have been well studied for their roles in regulating diverse signalling pathways, but we are only just beginning to understand how differential glycosylation is used to regulate intercellular signalling. Recent studies make clear that extracellular post-translational modifications, in the form of glycosylation, are essential for the Notch signalling pathway, and that differences in the extent of glycosylation are a significant mechanism by which this pathway is regulated.
Correia, T, Papayannopoulos V, Panin V, Woronoff P, Jiang J, Vogt TF, Irvine KD.  2003.  Molecular genetic analysis of the glycosyltransferase Fringe in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 100:6404-9. AbstractWebsite
Fringe proteins are beta1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferases that modulate signaling through Notch receptors by modifying O-linked fucose on epidermal growth factor domains. Fringe is highly conserved, and comparison among 18 different Fringe proteins from 11 different species identifies a core set of 84 amino acids that are identical among all Fringes. Fringe is only distantly related to other glycosyltransferases, but analysis of the predicted Drosophila proteome identifies a set of four sequence motifs shared among Fringe and other putative beta1,3-glycosyltransferases. To gain functional insight into these conserved sequences, we genetically and molecularly characterized 14 point mutations in Drosophila fringe. Most nonsense mutations act as recessive antimorphs, raising the possibility that Fringe may function as a dimer. Missense mutations identify two distinct motifs that are conserved among beta1,3-glycosyltransferases, and that can be modeled onto key motifs in the crystallographic structures of bovine beta1,4-galactosyltransferase 1 and human glucuronyltransferase I. Other missense mutations map to amino acids that are conserved among Fringe proteins, but not among other glycosyltransferases, and thus may identify structural motifs that are required for unique aspects of Fringe activity.
Li, Y, Lei L, Irvine KD, Baker NE, Li L.  2003.  Notch activity in neural cells triggered by a mutant allele with altered glycosylation. Development (Cambridge, England). 130:2829-40. AbstractWebsite
The receptor protein Notch is inactive in neural precursor cells despite neighboring cells expressing ligands. We investigated specification of the R8 neural photoreceptor cells that initiate differentiation of each Drosophila ommatidium. The ligand Delta was required in R8 cells themselves, consistent with a lateral inhibitor function for Delta. By contrast, Delta expressed in cells adjacent to R8 could not activate Notch in R8 cells. The split mutation of Notch was found to activate signaling in R8 precursor cells, blocking differentiation and leading to altered development and neural cell death. split did not affect other, inductive functions of Notch. The Ile578-->Thr578 substitution responsible for the split mutation introduced a new site for O-fucosylation on EGF repeat 14 of the Notch extracellular domain. The O-fucose monosaccharide did not require extension by Fringe to confer the phenotype. Our results suggest functional differences between Notch in neural and non-neural cells. R8 precursor cells are protected from lateral inhibition by Delta. The protection is affected by modifications of a particular EGF repeat in the Notch extracellular domain. These results suggest that the pattern of neurogenesis is determined by blocking Notch signaling, as well as by activating Notch signaling.
Lei, L, Xu A, Panin VM, Irvine KD.  2003.  An O-fucose site in the ligand binding domain inhibits Notch activation. Development (Cambridge, England). 130:6411-21. AbstractWebsite
Two glycosyltransferases that transfer sugars to EGF domains, OFUT1 and Fringe, regulate Notch signaling. However, sites of O-fucosylation on Notch that influence Notch activation have not been previously identified. Moreover, the influences of OFUT1 and Fringe on Notch activation can be positive or negative, depending on their levels of expression and on whether Delta or Serrate is signaling to Notch. Here, we describe the consequences of eliminating individual, highly conserved sites of O-fucose attachment to Notch. Our results indicate that glycosylation of an EGF domain proposed to be essential for ligand binding, EGF12, is crucial to the inhibition of Serrate-to-Notch signaling by Fringe. Expression of an EGF12 mutant of Notch (N-EGF12f) allows Notch activation by Serrate even in the presence of Fringe. By contrast, elimination of three other highly conserved sites of O-fucosylation does not have detectable effects. Binding assays with a soluble Notch extracellular domain fusion protein and ligand-expressing cells indicate that the NEGF12f mutation can influence Notch activation by preventing Fringe from blocking Notch-Serrate binding. The N-EGF12f mutant can substitute for endogenous Notch during embryonic neurogenesis, but not at the dorsoventral boundary of the wing. Thus, inhibition of Notch-Serrate binding by O-fucosylation of EGF12 might be needed in certain contexts to allow efficient Notch signaling.
2002
Nakamura, Y, Haines N, Chen J, Okajima T, Furukawa K, Urano T, Stanley P, Irvine KD, Furukawa K.  2002.  Identification of a Drosophila gene encoding xylosylprotein beta4-galactosyltransferase that is essential for the synthesis of glycosaminoglycans and for morphogenesis. The Journal of biological chemistry. 277:46280-8. AbstractWebsite
In mammals, the xylosylprotein beta4-galactosyltransferase termed beta4GalT7 (XgalT-1, EC ) participates in proteoglycan biosynthesis through the transfer of galactose to the xylose that initiates each glycosaminoglycan chain. A Drosophila cDNA homologous to mammalian beta4-galactosyltransferases was identified using a human beta4GalT7 cDNA as a probe in a BLAST analysis of expressed sequence tags. The Drosophila cDNA encodes a type II membrane protein with 322 amino acids and shows 49% identity to human beta4GalT7. Extracts from L cells transfected with the cDNA exhibited marked galactosyltransferase activity specific for a xylopyranoside acceptor. Moreover, transfection with the cloned cDNA restored glycosaminoglycan synthesis in beta4GalT7-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells. In transfectant lysates the properties of Drosophila and human beta4GalT7 resembled each other, except that Drosophila beta4GalT7 showed a less restricted specificity and was active at a wider range of temperatures. Drosophila beta4GalT7 is expressed throughout development, with higher expression levels in adults. Reduction of Drosophila beta4GalT7 levels using expressed RNA interference (RNAi) in imaginal discs resulted in an abnormal wing and leg morphology similar to that of flies with defective Hedgehog and Decapentaplegic signaling, which are known to depend on intact proteoglycan biosynthesis. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissues confirmed that both heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate biosynthesis were impaired. Our results demonstrate that Drosophila beta4GalT7 has the in vitro and in vivo properties predicted for an ortholog of human beta4GalT7 and is essential for normal animal development through its role in proteoglycan biosynthesis.
Grammont, M, Irvine KD.  2002.  Organizer activity of the polar cells during Drosophila oogenesis. Development. 129:5131-40. AbstractWebsite
Patterning of the Drosophila egg requires the establishment of several distinct types of somatic follicle cells, as well as interactions between these follicle cells and the oocyte. The polar cells occupy the termini of the follicle and are specified by the activation of Notch. We have investigated their role in follicle patterning by creating clones of cells mutant for the Notch modulator fringe. This genetic ablation of polar cells results in cell fate defects within surrounding follicle cells. At the anterior, the border cells, the immediately adjacent follicle cell fate, are absent, as are the more distant stretched and centripetal follicle cells. Conversely, increasing the number of polar cells by expressing an activated form of the Notch receptor increases the number of border cells. At the posterior, elimination of polar cells results in abnormal oocyte localization. Moreover, when polar cells are mislocalized laterally, the surrounding follicle cells adopt a posterior fate, the oocyte is located adjacent to them, and the anteroposterior axis of the oocyte is re-oriented with respect to the ectopic polar cells. Our observations demonstrate that the polar cells act as an organizer that patterns surrounding follicle cells and establishes the anteroposterior axis of the oocyte. The origin of asymmetry during Drosophila development can thus be traced back to the specification of the polar cells during early oogenesis.
Okajima, T, Irvine KD.  2002.  Regulation of notch signaling by o-linked fucose. Cell. 111:893-904. AbstractWebsite
Notch and its ligands are modified by a protein O-fucosyltransferase (OFUT1) that attaches fucose to a Serine or Threonine within EGF domains. By using RNAi to decrease Ofut1 expression in Drosophila, we demonstrate that O-linked fucose is positively required for Notch signaling, including both Fringe-dependent and Fringe-independent processes. The requirement for Ofut1 is cell autonomous, in the signal-receiving cell, and upstream of Notch activation. The transcription of Ofut1 is developmentally regulated, and surprisingly, overexpression of Ofut1 inhibits Notch signaling. Together, these results indicate that OFUT1 is a core component of the Notch pathway, which is required for the activation of Notch by its ligands, and whose regulation may contribute to the pattern of Notch activation during development.
Panin, VM, Shao L, Lei L, Moloney DJ, Irvine KD, Haltiwanger RS.  2002.  Notch ligands are substrates for protein O-fucosyltransferase-1 and Fringe. The Journal of biological chemistry. 277:29945-52. AbstractWebsite
O-Fucose has been identified on epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats of Notch, and elongation of O-fucose has been implicated in the modulation of Notch signaling by Fringe. O-Fucose modifications are also predicted to occur on Notch ligands based on the presence of the C(2)XXGG(S/T)C(3) consensus site (where S/T is the modified amino acid) in a number of the EGF repeats of these proteins. Here we establish that both mammalian and Drosophila Notch ligands are modified with O-fucose glycans, demonstrating that the consensus site was useful for making predictions. The presence of O-fucose on Notch ligands raised the question of whether Fringe, an O-fucose specific beta 1,3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase, was capable of modifying O-fucose on the ligands. Indeed, O-fucose on mammalian Delta 1 and Jagged1 can be elongated with Manic Fringe in vivo, and Drosophila Delta and Serrate are substrates for Drosophila Fringe in vitro. These results raise the interesting possibility that alteration of O-fucose glycans on Notch ligands could play a role in the mechanism of Fringe action on Notch signaling. As an initial step to begin addressing the role of the O-fucose glycans on Notch ligands in Notch signaling, a number of mutations in predicted O-fucose glycosylation sites on Drosophila Serrate have been generated. Interestingly, analysis of these mutants has revealed that O-fucose modifications occur on some EGF repeats not predicted by the C(2)XXGGS/TC(3) consensus site. A revised, broad consensus site, C(2)X(3-5)S/TC(3) (where X(3-5) are any 3-5 amino acid residues), is proposed.
2001
Grammont, M, Irvine KD.  2001.  fringe and Notch specify polar cell fate during Drosophila oogenesis. Development (Cambridge, England). 128:2243-53. AbstractWebsite
fringe encodes a glycosyltransferase that modulates the ability of the Notch receptor to be activated by its ligands. We describe studies of fringe function during early stages of Drosophila oogenesis. Animals mutant for hypomorphic alleles of fringe contain follicles with an incorrect number of germline cells, which are separated by abnormally long and disorganized stalks. Analysis of clones of somatic cells mutant for a null allele of fringe localizes the requirement for fringe in follicle formation to the polar cells, and demonstrates that fringe is required for polar cell fate. Clones of cells mutant for Notch also lack polar cells and the requirement for Notch in follicle formation appears to map to the polar cells. Ectopic expression of fringe or of an activated form of Notch can generate an extra polar cell. Our results indicate that fringe plays a key role in positioning Notch activation during early oogenesis, and establish a function for the polar cells in separating germline cysts into individual follicles.
Irvine, KD, Rauskolb C.  2001.  Boundaries in development: formation and function. Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 17:189-214. AbstractWebsite
Developing organisms may contain billions of cells destined to differentiate in numerous different ways. One strategy organisms use to simplify the orchestration of development is the separation of cell populations into distinct functional units. Our expanding knowledge of boundary formation and function in different systems is beginning to reveal general principles of this process. Fields of cells are subdivided by the interpretation of morphogen gradients, and these subdivisions are then maintained and refined by local cell-cell interactions. Sharp and stable separation between cell populations requires special mechanisms to keep cells segregated, which in many cases appear to involve the regulation of cell affinity. Once cell populations become distinct, specialized cells are often induced along the borders between them. These boundary cells can then influence the patterning of surrounding cells, which can result in progressively finer subdivisions of a tissue. Much has been learned about the signaling pathways that establish boundaries, but a key challenge for the future remains to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that actually keep cell populations separated.
2000
Moloney, DJ, Panin VM, Johnston SH, Chen J, Shao L, Wilson R, Wang Y, Stanley P, Irvine KD, Haltiwanger RS et al..  2000.  Fringe is a glycosyltransferase that modifies Notch. Nature. 406:369-75. AbstractWebsite
Notch receptors function in highly conserved intercellular signalling pathways that direct cell-fate decisions, proliferation and apoptosis in metazoans. Fringe proteins can positively and negatively modulate the ability of Notch ligands to activate the Notch receptor. Here we establish the biochemical mechanism of Fringe action. Drosophila and mammalian Fringe proteins possess a fucose-specific beta1,3 N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase activity that initiates elongation of O-linked fucose residues attached to epidermal growth factor-like sequence repeats of Notch. We obtained biological evidence that Fringe-dependent elongation of O-linked fucose on Notch modulates Notch signalling by using co-culture assays in mammalian cells and by expression of an enzymatically inactive Fringe mutant in Drosophila. The post-translational modification of Notch by Fringe represents a striking example of modulation of a signalling event by differential receptor glycosylation and identifies a mechanism that is likely to be relevant to other signalling pathways.
Liu, X, Grammont M, Irvine KD.  2000.  Roles for scalloped and vestigial in regulating cell affinity and interactions between the wing blade and the wing hinge. Developmental biology. 228:287-303. AbstractWebsite
The scalloped and vestigial genes are both required for the formation of the Drosophila wing, and recent studies have indicated that they can function as a heterodimeric complex to regulate the expression of downstream target genes. We have analyzed the consequences of complete loss of scalloped function, ectopic expression of scalloped, and ectopic expression of vestigial on the development of the Drosophila wing imaginal disc. Clones of cells mutant for a strong allele of scalloped fail to proliferate within the wing pouch, but grow normally in the wing hinge and notum. Cells overexpressing scalloped fail to proliferate in both notal and wing-blade regions of the disc, and this overexpression induces apoptotic cell death. Clones of cells overexpressing vestigial grow smaller or larger than control clones, depending upon their distance from the dorsal-ventral compartment boundary. These studies highlight the importance of correct scalloped and vestigial expression levels to normal wing development. Our studies of vestigial-overexpressing clones also reveal two further aspects of wing development. First, in the hinge region vestigial exerts both a local inhibition and a long-range induction of wingless expression. These and other observations imply that vestigial-expressing cells in the wing blade organize the development of surrounding wing-hinge cells. Second, clones of cells overexpressing vestigial exhibit altered cell affinities. Our analysis of these clones, together with studies of scalloped mutant clones, implies that scalloped- and vestigial-dependent cell adhesion contributes to separation of the wing blade from the wing hinge and to a gradient of cell affinities along the dorsal-ventral axis of the wing.