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Notch is a receptor that mediates intercellular signaling through a pathway conserved across the metazoa. It is involved in cell fate assignation and pattern formation during development. The receptor acts as a membrane-tethered transcription factor and is activated by members of the Delta, Serrate, Lag-2 family of Notch ligands, which trigger two successive proteolytic cleavages of the receptor. The second cleavage releases the intracellular domain of Notch, which translocates to the nucleus, where it interacts with the CSL family of transcriptional regulators and forms part of a Notch target gene–activating complex. In the absence of signaling, CSL [CBF1, Su(H), Lag-1] regulators repress Notch target genes through interactions with several transcriptional co-repressors that recruit histone deacetylases and other chromatin-modifying enzymes. After forming, the transcription-activating binary Notch intracellular domain–CSL complex recruits several proteins that facilitate transcription, among them the coactivator MAM and histone acetylases. Transcription of target genes is terminated when the Notch intracellular domain is degraded in a proteasome-dependent manner.