Structure-function analysis of Drosophila Notch using genomic rescue transgenes

Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1187:29-46. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1139-4_3.


One of the evolutionarily conserved posttranslational modifications of the Notch receptors is the addition of an O-linked glucose to epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats with a specific consensus sequence by the protein O-glucosyltransferase Rumi (POGLUT1 in human). Loss of rumi in flies results in a temperature-sensitive loss of Notch signaling. To demonstrate that the Notch receptor itself is the biologically relevant target of Rumi in flies, and to determine the role of the 18 Rumi target sites on Notch in regulating Notch signaling, we have performed an in vivo structure-function analysis of Drosophila Notch. In this chapter, we provide a detailed protocol for this analysis. To avoid the potential artifacts associated with overexpression of Notch and random insertion of transgenes, we have used recombineering and site-specific integration technologies, which have been adapted for usage in Drosophila in recent years. Using gene synthesis and site-directed mutagenesis, we generated a series of Notch genomic transgenes which harbor mutations in all or specific subsets of Notch O-glucose sites. Gene dosage and rescue experiments in animals raised at various temperatures allowed us to dissect the contribution of O-glucosylation sites to the regulation of the Notch signaling strength. The reagents and methods presented here can be used to address similar questions about other posttranslational modifications of Notch or other Drosophila proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / chemistry
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation
  • Receptors, Notch / chemistry
  • Receptors, Notch / genetics*
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transgenes*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • N protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • Rumi protein, Drosophila