Lethal giant discs, a novel C2 domain protein, restricts Notch activation during endocytosis

Jennifer Lauren Childress, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The Notch signaling pathway plays a central role in metazoan growth and patterning, and its deregulation leads to many human diseases, including cancer. It is therefore important to understand the modes of Notch signaling regulation. Recent discoveries have demonstrated that mutations in conserved endosomal pathway components such as Erupted and Vps25 can ectopically activate Notch signaling in Drosophila. Mutations in the tumor suppressor lethal giant discs (lgd) display similar but even stronger and more specific Notch activation than in the erupted and vps25 mutant animals. This Notch activation in lgd mutant tissues causes hyperplastic overgrowth of the Drosophila imaginal discs, and the eventual lethality of the animal. However, the gene that encodes Lgd, and its function in the Notch pathway have not yet been identified. I have found that Lgd is a novel, conserved C2 domain protein that regulates Notch trafficking. Lgd cell-autonomously restricts Notch signaling in the Drosophila wing disc to the target cells in the D/V boundary. The function of Lgd lies at or upstream of Notch S3 activation, but Lgd doesn't affect the binding affinities between Notch and Delta. Lgd is also not required for cis-inhibition of Notch signaling by ligands. Notch accumulates on the early endosome in lgd mutant cells and signals in a ligand-independent manner, a result that has previously been seen in endosomal pathway mutants. Interestingly, Notch activation in lgd mutant cells is dependent on the endosomal protein Hrs, and Lgd activity appears to be downstream of Hrs function in endocytosis. Taken together, my data identify Lgd as a novel tumor suppressor protein that regulates Notch signaling by targeting Notch for degradation or recycling.

Subject Area

Genetics|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Childress, Jennifer Lauren, "Lethal giant discs, a novel C2 domain protein, restricts Notch activation during endocytosis" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3249194.