Evidence of non-canonical NOTCH signaling: Delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1) directly interacts with the NOTCH1 receptor in mammals

Gunnhildur Ásta Traustadóttir, Charlotte H Jensen, Mads Thomassen, Hans Christian Beck, Sussi B Mortensen, Jorge Laborda, Victoriano Baladrón, Søren P Sheikh, Ditte C Andersen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Canonical NOTCH signaling, known to be essential for tissue development, requires the Delta-Serrate-LAG2 (DSL) domain for NOTCH to interact with its ligand. However, despite lacking DSL, Delta-like 1 homolog (DLK1), a protein that plays a significant role in mammalian development, has been suggested to interact with NOTCH1 and act as an antagonist. This non-canonical interaction is, however controversial, and evidence for a direct interaction, still lacking in mammals. In this study, we elucidated the putative DLK1-NOTCH1 interaction in a mammalian context. Taking a global approach and using Dlk1(+/+) and Dlk1(-/-) mouse tissues at E16.5, we demonstrated that several NOTCH signaling pathways indeed are affected by DLK1 during tissue development, and this was supported by a lower activation of NOTCH1 protein in Dlk1(+/+) embryos. Likewise, but using a distinct Dlk1-manipulated (siRNA) setup in a mammalian cell line, NOTCH signaling was substantially inhibited by DLK1. Using a mammalian two-hybrid system, we firmly established that the effect of DLK1 on NOTCH signaling was due to a direct interaction between DLK1 and NOTCH1. By careful dissection of this mechanism, we found this interaction to occur between EGF domains 5 and 6 of DLK1 and EGF domains 10-15 of NOTCH1. Thus, our data provide the first evidence for a direct interaction between DLK1 and NOTCH1 in mammals, and substantiate that non-canonical NOTCH ligands exist, adding to the complexity of NOTCH signaling.

TidsskriftCellular Signalling
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)246–254
StatusUdgivet - 11. jan. 2016


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