The Drosophila ZO-1 protein Polychaetoid suppresses Deltex-regulated Notch activity to modulate germline stem cell niche formation

Open Biol. 2017 Apr;7(4):160322. doi: 10.1098/rsob.160322.


The developmental signalling protein Notch can be proteolytically activated following ligand-interaction at the cell surface, or can be activated independently of its ligands, following Deltex (Dx)-induced Notch endocytosis and trafficking to the lysosomal membrane. The means by which different pools of Notch are directed towards these alternative outcomes remains poorly understood. We found that the Drosophila ZO-1 protein Polychaetoid (Pyd) suppresses specifically the Dx-induced form of Notch activation both in vivo and in cell culture assays. In vivo we confirmed the physiological relevance and direction of the Pyd/Dx interaction by showing that the expanded ovary stem cell niche phenotypes of pyd mutants require the presence of functional Dx and other components that are specific to the Dx-induced Notch activation mechanism. In S2 cells we found that Pyd can form a complex with Dx and Notch at the cell surface and reduce Dx-induced Notch endocytosis. Similar to other known activities of ZO-1 family proteins, the action of Pyd on Dx-induced endocytosis and signalling was found to be cell density dependent. Thus, together, our results suggest an alternative means by which external cues can tune Notch signalling through Pyd regulation of Dx-induced Notch trafficking.

Keywords: Drosophila; Notch; ZO-1; endocytosis; signalling.

MeSH terms

  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutation
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cell Niche*
  • Tight Junction Proteins / metabolism*


  • DX protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Tight Junction Proteins
  • pyd protein, Drosophila