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Ebright, YW, Chen Y, Ludescher RD, Ebright RH.  1993.  N-(iodoacetyl)-p-phenylenediamine-EDTA: a reagent for high-efficiency incorporation of an EDTA-metal complex at a rationally selected site within a protein.. Bioconjugate chemistry. 4(3):219-25. Abstract
We have developed a highly efficient procedure to incorporate an EDTA:metal complex at a rationally selected site within a full-length protein. Our procedure has two steps: In step one, we use site-directed mutagenesis to introduce a unique solvent-accessible cysteine residue at the site of interest. In step two, we derivatized the resulting protein with N-(iodoacetyl)-p-phenylenediamine-EDTA:metal, a novel haloacetyl derivative of EDTA:metal. We have used this procedure to incorporate each of three EDTA:metal complexes at amino acid 2 of the helix-turn-helix motif of the sequence-specific DNA binding protein Cro: a radioactive and nucleolytic EDTA:metal complex (EDTA:55Fe), a radioactive EDTA:metal complex (EDTA:63Ni), and a fluorescent and heavy-atom EDTA:metal complex (EDTA:Eu). Incorporation of EDTA:metal was highly efficient (> 80% for EDTA:55Fe and EDTA:63Ni; 60% for EDTA:Eu) and highly site-specific (> 99%). We have analyzed DNA affinity cleaving by the Cro derivative having EDTA:55Fe at amino acid 2 of the helix-turn-helix motif. The Cro derivative cleaves DNA at base pairs -4 to 6 of the DNA half site in the protein-DNA complex, indicating that amino acid 2 of the helix-turn-helix motif of Cro is close to base pairs -4 to 6 of the DNA half site in the Cro-DNA complex in solution.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Abraham, DS, Vershon AK.  2005.  N-terminal arm of Mcm1 is Required for Transcription of a Subset of Genes Involved in Maintenance of the cell wall. Eukaryot Cell. 4:1808-1819. Abstract
The yeast Mcm1 protein is a member of the MADS box family of transcription factors that interacts with several cofactors to differentially regulate genes involved in cell-type determination, mating, cell cycle control and arginine metabolism. Residues 18 to 96 of the protein, which form the core DNA-binding domain of Mcm1, are sufficient to carry out many Mcm1-dependent functions. However, deletion of residues 2 to 17, which form the nonessential N-terminal (NT) arm, confers a salt-sensitive phenotype, suggesting that the NT arm is required for the activation of salt response genes. We used a strategy that combined information from the mutational analysis of the Mcm1-binding site with microarray expression data under salt stress conditions to identify a new subset of Mcm1-regulated genes. Northern blot analysis showed that the transcript levels of several genes encoding associated with the cell wall, especially YGP1, decrease significantly upon deletion of the Mcm1 NT arm. Deletion of the Mcm1 NT arm results in a calcofluor white-sensitive phenotype, which is often associated with defects in transcription of cell wall genes. In addition, the deletion makes cells sensitive to CaCl2 and alkaline pH. We found that the defect caused by removal of the NT arm is not due to changes in Mcm1 protein level, stability, DNA-binding affinity, or DNA bending. This suggests that residues 2 to 17 of Mcm1 may be involved in recruiting a cofactor to the promoters of these genes to activate transcription.
Goldman, SR, Sharp JS, Vvedenskaya IO, Livny J, Dove SL, Nickels BE.  2011.  NanoRNAs Prime Transcription Initiation In Vivo. Mol Cell. 42:817-825. AbstractWebsite
It is often presumed that, in vivo, the initiation of RNA synthesis by DNA-dependent RNA polymerases occurs using NTPs alone. Here, using the model Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we demonstrate that depletion of the small-RNA-specific exonuclease, Oligoribonuclease, causes the accumulation of oligoribonucleotides 2 to approximately 4 nt in length, "nanoRNAs," which serve as primers for transcription initiation at a significant fraction of promoters. Widespread use of nanoRNAs to prime transcription initiation is coupled with global alterations in gene expression. Our results, obtained under conditions in which the concentration of nanoRNAs is artificially elevated, establish that small RNAs can be used to initiate transcription in vivo, challenging the idea that all cellular transcription occurs using only NTPs. Our findings further suggest that nanoRNAs could represent a distinct class of functional small RNAs that can affect gene expression through direct incorporation into a target RNA transcript rather than through a traditional antisense-based mechanism.
Nickels, BE, Dove SL.  2011.  NanoRNAs: A Class of Small RNAs That Can Prime Transcription Initiation in Bacteria. J Mol Biol. AbstractWebsite
It has been widely assumed that all transcription in cells occur using NTPs only (i.e., de novo). However, it has been known for several decades that both prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA polymerases can utilize small (2 to approximately 5 nt) RNAs to prime transcription initiation in vitro, raising the possibility that small RNAs might also prime transcription initiation in vivo. A new study by Goldman et al. has now provided the first evidence that priming with so-called "nanoRNAs" (i.e., 2 to approximately 5 nt RNAs) can, in fact, occur in vivo. Furthermore, this study provides evidence that altering the extent of nanoRNA-mediated priming of transcription initiation can profoundly influence global gene expression. In this perspective, we summarize the findings of Goldman et al. and discuss the prospect that nanoRNA-mediated priming of transcription initiation represents an underappreciated aspect of gene expression in vivo.
Vinyard, DJ, Sun JS, Gimpel J, Ananyev GM, Mayfield SP, Dismukes GC.  2016.  Natural isoforms of the Photosystem II D1 subunit differ in photoassembly efficiency of the water-oxidizing complex.. Photosynth Res.. Abstract
Oxygenic photosynthesis efficiency at increasing solar flux is limited by light-induced damage (photoinhibition) of Photosystem II (PSII), primarily targeting the D1 reaction center subunit. Some cyanobacteria contain two natural isoforms of D1 that function better under low light (D1:1) or high light (D1:2). Herein, rates and yields of photoassembly of the Mn4CaO5 water-oxidizing complex (WOC) from the free inorganic cofactors (Mn2+, Ca2+, water, electron acceptor) and apo-WOC-PSII are shown to differ significantly: D1:1 apo-WOC-PSII exhibits a 2.3-fold faster rate-limiting step of photoassembly and up to seven-fold faster rate to the first light-stable Mn3+ intermediate, IM1*, but with a much higher rate of photoinhibition than D1:2. Conversely, D1:2 apo-WOC-PSII assembles slower but has up to seven-fold higher yield, achieved by a higher quantum yield of charge separation and slower photoinhibition rate. These results confirm and extend previous observations of the two holoenzymes: D1:2-PSII has a greater quantum yield of primary charge separation, faster [P680 + Q A - ] charge recombination and less photoinhibition that results in a slower rate and higher yield of photoassembly of its apo-WOC-PSII complex. In contrast, D1:1-PSII has a lower quantum yield of primary charge separation, a slower [P680 + Q A - ] charge recombination rate, and faster photoinhibition that together result in higher rate but lower yield of photoassembly at higher light intensities. Cyanobacterial PSII reaction centers that contain the high- and low-light D1 isoforms can tailor performance to optimize photosynthesis at varying light conditions, with similar consequences on their photoassembly kinetics and yield. These different efficiencies of photoassembly versus photoinhibition impose differential costs for biosynthesis as a function of light intensity.
Guerra, LT, Xu Y, Bennette N, McNeely K, Bryant DA, Dismukes GC.  2013.  Natural osmolytes are much less effective substrates than glycogen for catabolic energy production in the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 .. J. Biotechnol.. 166:65-75. Abstract
ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, encoded by glgC, catalyzes the first step of glycogen and glucosylglycer(ol/ate) biosynthesis. Here we report the construction of the first glgC null mutant of a marine cyanobacterium (Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002) and investigate its impact on dark anoxic metabolism (autofermentation). The glgC mutant had 98% lower ADP-glucose, synthesized no glycogen and produced appreciably more soluble sugars (mainly sucrose) than wild type (WT). Some glucosylglycerol was still observed, which suggests that the mutant has another, inefficient ADP-glucose synthesis pathway. In contrast, hypersaline conditions (1M NaCl) were lethal to the mutant strain, indicating that, unlike other strains, the elevated sucrose does not compensate for the reduced GG as osmolyte. In contrast to WT, nitrate limitation did not cause bleaching of N-containing pigments or carbohydrate accumulation in the glgC mutant, indicating impaired recycling of nitrogen stores. Despite the 2-fold increase in osmolytes, both the respiration and autofermentation rates of the glgC mutant were appreciably slower (2-4-fold) and correlated quantitatively with the lower fraction of insoluble carbohydrates relative to WT (85% vs. 12%). However, the remaining insoluble carbohydrates still accounted for a high fraction of the carbohydrate catabolized (38%), indicating that insoluble carbohydrates rather than osmolytes were the preferred substrate for autofermentation.
Vinyard, DJ, Xu Y, Bennette N, McNeely K, Bryant DA, Dismukes CG.  2013.  Natural osmolytes are much less effective substrates than glycogen for catabolic energy production in the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002.. Journal of biotechnology. 166(3):65-75. Abstract
ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, encoded by glgC, catalyzes the first step of glycogen and glucosylglycer(ol/ate) biosynthesis. Here we report the construction of the first glgC null mutant of a marine cyanobacterium (Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002) and investigate its impact on dark anoxic metabolism (autofermentation). The glgC mutant had 98% lower ADP-glucose, synthesized no glycogen and produced appreciably more soluble sugars (mainly sucrose) than wild type (WT). Some glucosylglycerol was still observed, which suggests that the mutant has another, inefficient ADP-glucose synthesis pathway. In contrast, hypersaline conditions (1M NaCl) were lethal to the mutant strain, indicating that, unlike other strains, the elevated sucrose does not compensate for the reduced GG as osmolyte. In contrast to WT, nitrate limitation did not cause bleaching of N-containing pigments or carbohydrate accumulation in the glgC mutant, indicating impaired recycling of nitrogen stores. Despite the 2-fold increase in osmolytes, both the respiration and autofermentation rates of the glgC mutant were appreciably slower (2-4-fold) and correlated quantitatively with the lower fraction of insoluble carbohydrates relative to WT (85% vs. 12%). However, the remaining insoluble carbohydrates still accounted for a high fraction of the carbohydrate catabolized (38%), indicating that insoluble carbohydrates rather than osmolytes were the preferred substrate for autofermentation.
Vinyard, DJ, Gimpel J, Ananyev GM, Cornejo MA, Golden SS, Mayfield SP, Dismukes CG.  2013.  Natural variants of photosystem II subunit D1 tune photochemical fitness to solar intensity.. The Journal of biological chemistry. 288(8):5451-62. Abstract
Photosystem II (PSII) is composed of six core polypeptides that make up the minimal unit capable of performing the primary photochemistry of light-driven charge separation and water oxidation in all oxygenic phototrophs. The D1 subunit of this complex contains most of the ligating amino acid residues for the Mn(4)CaO(5) core of the water-oxidizing complex (WOC). Most cyanobacteria have 3-5 copies of the psbA gene coding for at least two isoforms of D1, whereas algae and plants have only one isoform. Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 contains two D1 isoforms; D1:1 is expressed under low light conditions, and D1:2 is up-regulated in high light or stress conditions. Using a heterologous psbA expression system in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we have measured growth rate, WOC cycle efficiency, and O(2) yield as a function of D1:1, D1:2, or the native algal D1 isoform. D1:1-PSII cells outcompete D1:2-PSII cells and accumulate more biomass in light-limiting conditions. However, D1:2-PSII cells easily outcompete D1:1-PSII cells at high light intensities. The native C. reinhardtii-PSII WOC cycles less efficiently at all light intensities and produces less O(2) than either cyanobacterial D1 isoform. D1:2-PSII makes more O(2) per saturating flash than D1:1-PSII, but it exhibits lower WOC cycling efficiency at low light intensities due to a 40% faster charge recombination rate in the S(3) state. These functional advantages of D1:1-PSII and D1:2-PSII at low and high light regimes, respectively, can be explained by differences in predicted redox potentials of PSII electron acceptors that control kinetic performance.
Irvine, KD, Botas J, Jha S, Mann RS, Hogness DS.  1993.  Negative autoregulation by Ultrabithorax controls the level and pattern of its expression. Development. 117:387-99. AbstractWebsite
The Drosophila homeotic gene Ultrabithorax (Ubx) encodes transcriptional regulatory proteins (UBX) that specify thoracic and abdominal segmental identities. Ubx autoregulation was examined by manipulating UBX levels, both genetically and with an inducible transgene, and monitoring the effect of these manipulations on the expression of Ubx and Ubx-lacZ reporter genes. Positive autoregulation by Ubx is restricted to the visceral mesoderm, while in other tissues Ubx negatively autoregulates. In some cases, negative autoregulation stabilizes UBX levels, while in others it modulates the spatial and temporal patterns of UBX expression. This modulation of UBX expression may enable Ubx to specify distinct identities in different segments. The upstream control region of Ubx contains multiple autoregulatory elements for both positive and negative autoregulation.
Lagrange, T, Kapanidis AN, Tang H, Reinberg D, Ebright RH.  1998.  New core promoter element in RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription: sequence-specific DNA binding by transcription factor IIB.. Genes & development. 12(1):34-44. Abstract
A sequence element located immediately upstream of the TATA element, and having the consensus sequence 5'-G/C-G/C-G/A-C-G-C-C-3', affects the ability of transcription factor IIB to enter transcription complexes and support transcription initiation. The sequence element is recognized directly by the transcription factor IIB. Recognition involves alpha-helices 4' and 5' of IIB, which comprise a helix-turn-helix DNA-binding motif. These observations establish that transcription initiation involves a fourth core promoter element, the IIB recognition element (BRE), in addition to the TATA element, the initiator element, and the downstream promoter element, and involves a second sequence-specific general transcription factor, IIB, in addition to transcription factor IID.
Padgett, RW, Patterson GI.  2001.  New developments for TGFβ. Developmental cell. 1:343-9. AbstractWebsite
A recent FASEB meeting was held in Tucson, Arizona that encompassed TGFbeta superfamily signaling pathways and their roles in development. This review focuses on the developmental biology presented at the meeting.
Singaravelu, G, Singson A.  2011.  New insights into the mechanism of fertilization in nematodes. Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 289:211–238. Abstract
Fertilization results from the fusion of male and female gametes in all sexually reproducing organisms. Much of nematode fertility work was focused on Caenorhabditis elegans and Ascaris suum. The C. elegans hermaphrodite produces a limited number of sperm initially and then commits to the exclusive production of oocytes. The postmeiotic differentiation called spermiogenesis converts sessile spermatids into motile spermatozoa. The motility of spermatozoa depends on dynamic assembly and disassembly of a major sperm protein-based cytoskeleton uniquely found in nematodes. Both self-derived and male-derived spermatozoa are stored in spermatheca, the site of fertilization in hermaphrodites. The oocyte is arrested in meiotic prophase I until a sperm-derived signal relieves the inhibition allowing the meiotic maturation to occur. Oocyte undergoes meiotic maturation, enters into spermatheca, gets fertilized, completes meiosis, and exits into uterus as a zygote. This review focuses on our current understanding of the events around fertilization in nematodes.
Segal, G, Song R, Messing J.  2003.  A new opaque variant of maize by a single dominant RNA-interference-inducing transgene. Genetics. 165:387-97. AbstractWebsite
In maize, alpha-zeins, the main protein components of seed stores, are major determinants of nutritional imbalance when maize is used as the sole food source. Mutations like opaque-2 (o2) are used in breeding varieties with improved nutritional quality. However, o2 works in a recessive fashion by affecting the expression of a subset of 22-kD alpha-zeins, as well as additional endosperm gene functions. Thus, we sought a dominant mutation that could suppress the storage protein genes without interrupting O2 synthesis. We found that maize transformed with RNA interference (RNAi) constructs derived from a 22-kD zein gene could produce a dominant opaque phenotype. This phenotype segregates in a normal Mendelian fashion and eliminates 22-kD zeins without affecting the accumulation of other zein proteins. A system for regulated transgene expression generating antisense RNA also reduced the expression of 22-kD zein genes, but failed to give an opaque phenotype. Therefore, it appears that small interfering RNAs not only may play an important regulatory role during plant development, but also are effective genetic tools for dissecting the function of gene families. Since the dominant phenotype is also correlated with increased lysine content, the new mutant illustrates an approach for creating more nutritious crop plants.
Srivastava, A, Talaue M, Liu S, Degen D, Ebright RY, Sineva E, Chakraborty A, Druzhinin SY, Chatterjee S, Mukhopadhyay J et al..  2011.  New target for inhibition of bacterial RNA polymerase: 'switch region'. Current opinion in microbiology. 14:532-43. Abstract
A new drug target - the 'switch region' - has been identified within bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP), the enzyme that mediates bacterial RNA synthesis. The new target serves as the binding site for compounds that inhibit bacterial RNA synthesis and kill bacteria. Since the new target is present in most bacterial species, compounds that bind to the new target are active against a broad spectrum of bacterial species. Since the new target is different from targets of other antibacterial agents, compounds that bind to the new target are not cross-resistant with other antibacterial agents. Four antibiotics that function through the new target have been identified: myxopyronin, corallopyronin, ripostatin, and lipiarmycin. This review summarizes the switch region, switch-region inhibitors, and implications for antibacterial drug discovery.
Nickels, BE.  2012.  A new way to start: nanoRNA-mediated priming of transcription initiation.. Transcription. 3(6):300-304. Abstract
A recent study provides evidence that RNA polymerase uses 2- to ~4-nt RNAs, species termed "nanoRNAs," to prime transcription initiation in Escherichia coli. Priming of transcription initiation with nanoRNAs represents a previously undocumented component of transcription start site selection and gene expression.
Sinagawa-Garcia, SR, Tungsuchat-Huang T, Paredes-Lopez O, Maliga P.  2009.  Next generation synthetic vectors for transformation of the plastid genome of higher plants. Plant Mol. Biol.. 70:487-98. AbstractWebsite
Plastid transformation vectors are E. coli plasmids carrying a plastid marker gene for selection, adjacent cloning sites and flanking plastid DNA to target insertions in the plastid genome by homologous recombination. We report here on a family of next generation plastid vectors carrying synthetic DNA vector arms targeting insertions in the rbcL-accD intergenic region of the tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plastid genome. The pSS22 plasmid carries only synthetic vector arms from which the undesirable restriction sites have been removed by point mutations. The pSS24 vector carries a c-Myc tagged spectinomycin resistance (aadA) marker gene whereas in vector pSS30 aadA is flanked with loxP sequences for post-transformation marker excision. The synthetic vectors will enable direct manipulation of passenger genes in the transformation vector targeting insertions in the rbcL-accD intergenic region that contains many commonly used restriction sites.
Derynck, R, Gelbart WM, Harland RM, Heldin CH, Kern SE, Massagué J, Melton DA, Mlodzik M, Padgett RW, Roberts AB et al..  1996.  Nomenclature: vertebrate mediators of TGFβ family signals. Cell. 87:173.Website
Wu, Y, Goettel W, Messing J.  2009.  Non-Mendelian regulation and allelic variation of methionine-rich delta-zein genes in maize. Theor Appl Genet. AbstractWebsite
Sufficient methionine levels in the seed are critical for the supply of a balanced diet for feed and food. Currently, animal feed is supplemented with chemically synthesized methionine, which could be completely replaced with naturally synthesized methionine. However, insufficient levels of methionine are due to alleles of two genes in the maize genome that are expressed during seed development, which have a high percentage of methionine codons, ranging from 23 to 28%, while free methionine is very low. The two genes, dzs10 and dzs18, belong to the prolamin gene family that arose during the evolution of the grasses and were duplicated during a whole genome duplication event. We have found several dzs10 and dzs18 null alleles caused either by transposon insertion or frame shift mutations. Maize seeds with null mutations of both genes have a normal phenotype in contrast to other prolamin genes, explaining the accumulation of methionine deficiency in normal breeding efforts. Moreover, the trans-regulation of these genes deviates from Mendelian inheritance. One allele of the regulatory locus dzr1 is inherited in a parent-of-origin fashion, while another allele appears to prevent Mendelian segregation of the high-methionine phenotype in backcrosses.
Bao, X, Pachikara N, Oey CB, Balakrishnan A, Westblade LF, Tan M, Chase T, Nickels BE, Fan H.  2011.  Noncoding Nucleotides and Amino Acids near the Active Site Regulate Peptide Deformylase Expression and Inhibitor Susceptibility in Chlamydia trachomatis. Microbiology. AbstractWebsite
Chlamydia trachomatis, an obligate intracellular bacterium, is a highly prevalent human pathogen. Hydroxamic acid-based matrix metalloprotease inhibitors can effectively inhibit the pathogen both in vitro and in vivo, and have exhibited therapeutic potential. Here, we provide genome sequencing data indicating that peptide deformylase (PDF) is the sole target of the inhibitors in this organism. We further report molecular mechanisms that control chlamydial PDF (cPDF) expression and inhibition efficiency. In particular, we identify the o66-dependent promoter that controls cPDF gene expression and demonstrate that point mutations in this promoter lead to resistance by increasing cPDF transcription. Furthermore, we show that substitution of two amino acids near the active site of the enzyme alters enzyme kinetics and protein stability.
Kim, Y, Ebright YW, Goodman AR, Reinberg D, Ebright RH.  2008.  Nonradioactive, ultrasensitive site-specific protein-protein photocrosslinking: interactions of alpha-helix 2 of TATA-binding protein with general transcription factor TFIIA and transcriptional repressor NC2.. Nucleic acids research. 36(19):6143-54. Abstract
We have developed an approach that enables nonradioactive, ultrasensitive (attamole sensitivity) site-specific protein-protein photocrosslinking, and we have applied the approach to the analysis of interactions of alpha-helix 2 (H2) of human TATA-element binding protein (TBP) with general transcription factor TFIIA and transcriptional repressor NC2. We have found that TBP H2 can be crosslinked to TFIIA in the TFIIA-TBP-DNA complex and in higher order transcription-initiation complexes, and we have mapped the crosslink to the 'connector' region of the TFIIA alpha/beta subunit (TFIIAalpha/beta). We further have found that TBP H2 can be crosslinked to NC2 in the NC2-TBP-DNA complex, and we have mapped the crosslink to the C-terminal 'tail' of the NC2 alpha-subunit (NC2alpha). Interactions of TBP H2 with the TFIIAalpha/beta connector and the NC2alpha C-terminal tail were not observed in crystal structures of TFIIA-TBP-DNA and NC2-TBP-DNA complexes, since relevant segments of TFIIA and NC2 were not present in truncated TFIIA and NC2 derivatives used for crystallization. We propose that interactions of TBP H2 with the TFIIAalpha/beta connector and the NC2alpha C-terminal tail provide an explanation for genetic results suggesting importance of TBP H2 in TBP-TFIIA interactions and TBP-NC2 interactions, and provide an explanation-steric exclusion-for competition between TFIIA and NC2.
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.
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.
Irvine, KD.  2008.  A notch sweeter. Cell. 132:177-9. AbstractWebsite
Notch is a key signaling protein mediating cell-fate decisions during development. In this issue, Acar et al. (2008) describe a new gene called rumi that is required for Notch signaling in Drosophila. This gene encodes an O-glucosyltransferase that attaches glucose sugars to serine residues in the multiple EGF domains of the extracellular region of Notch. This modification by Rumi likely influences Notch folding and trafficking.
Xu, A, Irvine KD.  2014.  Notch-ligand binding assays in Drosophila cells.. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, NJ). 1187:277-284. AbstractWebsite
Activation of the Drosophila transmembrane receptor protein Notch is induced by association with its transmembrane ligands, Delta and Serrate. The ability to assay binding between Notch and its ligands has been essential for characterizing the influence of posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation, as well as for characterizing structural motifs involved in receptor-ligand interactions. We describe here a simple, widely used method for assaying receptor-ligand binding. This method involves expression of soluble forms of either Notch or its ligands, comprising the extracellular domains fused to an easily assayed tag, the enzyme alkaline phosphatase. These soluble proteins are then incubated with their binding partners, either as transmembrane proteins expressed on the surface of cultured cells or as extracellular protein domains attached to agarose beads. After washing, the amount of bound protein can be readily assayed by measuring alkaline phosphatase activity.