Alfonso Martinez AriasDepartment of Genetics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK F1000 Faculty Member (since 01 June 2003)
Professor of Developmental Mechanics
Group Leader, Laboratory of the Structure and Function of Living Matter, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge
There is evidence that Notch can signal independently of this transcriptional activity. This Su(H) independent activity targets Armadillo, that is the Drosophila homologue of ß-catenin, and the effector of Wnt signalling. A function for Notch in the modulation of this signalling pathway has been analyzed over the years in Martinez Ariass lab. These analyses have provided a basis to interpret reports of interactions that exist in the literature and a framework to probe into the mechanism. Using Drosophila wing imaginal discs as a model system, we have shown that the activity of Notch that modulates the activity of ß-catenin is tightly associated with the ligand independent traffic of Notch. Furthermore, we have also shown that Wnt is able to regulate the activity of Notch by promoting its ligand-independent traffic. These results have led us to propose that Wnt and Notch form a single functional device that we call Wntch.
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