Notch locus EGF-like element mutations spl, altering eye development, and AxE2, affecting wing and sensilla development, are modified by mutations at Delta. It is shown that two allele-specific suppressors of spl involve single amino acid substitutions in the 4th (Dlsup5) and 9th (Dlsup4) EGF-like elements of the Delta protein. Cultured cells producing spl or AxE2 aggregate with cells producing wild-type Delta or Dlsup5 protein, and Dlsup5-producing cells adhere to cells producing wild-type Notch protein. However, spl,AxE2, and Dlsup5 are each defective in promoting these cell affinities, as none of the mutant proteins can compete with the corresponding wild-type proteins for formation of cell aggregates. Thus, widely separated EGF-like elements of Notch and Delta appear to participate in functional molecular interactions between the proteins. Dlsup5 does not improve adhesiveness of spl in vitro, so suppression in vivo may involve altered developmental signaling by spl-Dlsup5 complexes, rather than modified cell adhesion.