Notch signaling is antagonized by SAO-1, a novel GYF-domain protein that interacts with the E3 ubiquitin ligase SEL-10 in Caenorhabditis elegans

Valerie A Hale, Evan L Guiney, Lindsey Y Goldberg, Josephine H Haduong, Callie S Kwartler, Katherine W Scangos, Caroline Goutte
Genetics 2012, 190 (3): 1043-57
Notch signaling pathways can be regulated through a variety of cellular mechanisms, and genetically compromised systems provide useful platforms from which to search for the responsible modulators. The Caenorhabditis elegans gene aph-1 encodes a component of γ-secretase, which is essential for Notch signaling events throughout development. By looking for suppressors of the incompletely penetrant aph-1(zu147) mutation, we identify a new gene, sao-1 (suppressor of aph-one), that negatively regulates aph-1(zu147) activity in the early embryo. The sao-1 gene encodes a novel protein that contains a GYF protein-protein interaction domain and interacts specifically with SEL-10, an Fbw7 component of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases. We demonstrate that the embryonic lethality of aph-1(zu147) mutants can be suppressed by removing sao-1 activity or by mutations that disrupt the SAO-1-SEL-10 protein interaction. Decreased sao-1 activity also influences Notch signaling events when they are compromised at different molecular steps of the pathway, such as at the level of the Notch receptor GLP-1 or the downstream transcription factor LAG-1. Combined analysis of the SAO-1-SEL-10 protein interaction and comparisons of sao-1 and sel-10 genetic interactions suggest a possible role for SAO-1 as an accessory protein that participates with SEL-10 in downregulation of Notch signaling. This work provides the first mutant analysis of a GYF-domain protein in either C. elegans or Drosophila and introduces a new type of Fbw7-interacting protein that acts in a subset of Fbw7 functions.

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