Editors' ChoiceReceptors

Sugar-coating Notch

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Science's STKE  01 Aug 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 43, pp. tw1
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.43.tw1

Notch is a transmembrane receptor for the transmembrane ligands Delta and Jagged (also known as Serrate). Signaling by Notch is important for establishing boundaries during development (see accompanying article by Fortini). Fringe modifies Notch signaling when expressed in Notch-expressing cells. Two groups, Brückner et al. and Moloney et al., show that Fringe is a glycosyltransferase that catalyzes the elongation of O-linked fucose residues on the epidermal growth factor repeats of the Notch receptor. Brückner et al. show that coexpression of Fringe and Notch enhances the interaction between Notch and Delta and that the glycosyltransferase activity of Fringe is essential for this activity. Moloney et al. show that when Notch is modified by Fringe, activation of Notch by Jagged1 is inhibited. Thus, carbohydrate modification of the Notch receptor fine-tunes the cellular responsiveness to Notch ligands, allowing the establishment of discrete boundaries of Notch signaling. Carbohydrate modification represents a novel mechanism of regulating receptor-ligand interactions.

Fortini, M.E. (2000) Fringe benefits to carbohydrates. Nature 406: 357-358. [Online Journal]

Brückner, K., Perez, L., Clausen, H., and Cohen, S. (2000) Glycosyltransferase activity of Fringe modulates Notch-Delta interactions. Nature 406: 411-415. [Online Journal]

Moloney, D.J., Panin, V.M., Johnston, S.H., Chen, J., Shao, L., Wilson, R., Wang, Y., Stanley, P., Irvine, K.D., Haltiwanger, R.S., and Vogt, T.F. (2000) Fringe is a glycosyltransferase that modifies Notch. Nature 406: 369-375. [Online Journal]

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