Notch signaling regulates a multitude of cellular processes. During ocular lens development this pathway is required for lens progenitor growth, differentiation and maintenance of the transition zone. After ligand-receptor binding, the receptor proteins are processed, first by ADAM proteases, then by γ-secretase cleavage. This results in the release of a Notch intracellular domain (N-ICD), which is recruited into a nuclear transcription factor complex that activates Notch target genes. Previous in vitro studies showed that the Delta-like and Jagged ligand proteins can also be cleaved by the γ-secretase complex, but it remains unknown whether such processing occurs during in vivo vertebrate development. Here we show that mouse and human lens progenitor cells endogenously express multiple Jagged1 protein isoforms, including a Jagged1 intracellular domain. We also found that pharmacologic blockage of γ-secretase activity in vitro resulted in an accumulation of Jagged1 polypeptide intermediates. Finally, overexpression of an epitope-tagged Jagged1 intracellular domain displayed nuclear localization and induced the upregulation of endogenous JAG1 mRNA expression. These findings support the idea that along with its classical role as a Notch pathway ligand, Jagged1 is regulated post-translationally, to produce multiple active protein isoforms.
- ADAM protease
- Gamma secretase (γ-secretase)
- Lens development
- Notch signaling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)