Contributions of chaperone and glycosyltransferase activities of O-fucosyltransferase 1 to Notch signaling
1 Nagoya University Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Department of Applied Molecular Biosciences, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan
2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Waksman Institute and Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
BMC Biology 2008, 6:1 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-6-1Published: 14 January 2008
O-fucosyltransferase1 (OFUT1) is a conserved ER protein essential for Notch signaling. OFUT1 glycosylates EGF domains, which can then be further modified by the N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase Fringe. OFUT1 also possesses a chaperone activity that promotes the folding and secretion of Notch. Here, we investigate the respective contributions of these activities to Notch signaling in Drosophila.
We show that expression of an isoform lacking fucosyltransferase activity, Ofut1R245A, rescues the requirement for Ofut1 in embryonic neurogenesis. Lack of requirement for O-fucosylation is further supported by the absence of embryonic phenotypes in Gmd mutants, which lack all forms of fucosylation. Requirements for O-fucose during imaginal development were evaluated by characterizing clones of cells expressing only Ofut1R245A. These clones phenocopy fringe mutant clones, indicating that the absence of O-fucose is functionally equivalent to the absence of elongated O-fucose.
Our results establish that Notch does not need to be O-fucosylated for fringe-independent Notch signaling in Drosophila; the chaperone activity of OFUT1 is sufficient for the generation of functional Notch.