Physiology and pathology of notch signalling system

J Cell Physiol. 2006 May;207(2):300-8. doi: 10.1002/jcp.20542.


Notch proteins encode a family of transmembrane receptors that are part of a signalling transduction system known as Notch signalling, an extremely conserved and widely used mechanism regulating programs governing growth, apoptosis and differentiation in metazoans. Notch signalling begins when the Notch receptor binds ligands and ends when the Notch intracellular domain enters the nucleus and activates transcription of target genes. This core pathway is subjected to a wide array of regulatory influences and protein-protein interactions and is correlated with other signalling pathway. This review will summarize recent findings concerning the physiology and pathology of Notch signalling in vascular development and homeostasis. Moreover, the clinical phenotypes of Notch3 signalling system pathology will be described, with particular regard to CADASIL (Cerebral Autosomal Dominant Arteriopathy with Subcortical Infarcts and Leukoencephalopathy) for which the most recent pathogenetic hypotheses are reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • CADASIL / genetics
  • CADASIL / pathology
  • CADASIL / physiopathology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Receptor, Notch3
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics
  • Receptors, Notch / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Vascular Diseases / genetics
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NOTCH3 protein, human
  • Receptor, Notch3
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transcription Factors