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BEND6 is a nuclear antagonist of Notch signaling during self-renewal of neural stem cells.

Dai Q., Andreu-Agullo C., Insolera R., Wong L.C., Shi S.H., Lai E.C.

The activity of the Notch pathway revolves around a CSL-class transcription factor, which recruits distinct complexes that activate or repress target gene expression. The co-activator complex is deeply conserved and includes the cleaved Notch intracellular domain (NICD) and Mastermind. By contrast, numerous CSL co-repressor proteins have been identified, and these are mostly different between invertebrate and vertebrate systems. In this study, we demonstrate that mammalian BEND6 is a neural BEN-solo factor that shares many functional attributes with Drosophila Insensitive, a co-repressor for the Drosophila CSL factor. BEND6 binds the mammalian CSL protein CBF1 and antagonizes Notch-dependent target activation. In addition, its association with Notch- and CBF1-regulated enhancers is promoted by CBF1 and antagonized by activated Notch. In utero electroporation experiments showed that ectopic BEND6 inhibited Notch-mediated self-renewal of neocortical neural stem cells and promoted neurogenesis. Conversely, knockdown of BEND6 increased NSC self-renewal in wild-type neocortex, and exhibited genetic interactions with gain and loss of Notch pathway activity. We recapitulated all of these findings in cultured neurospheres, in which overexpression and depletion of BEND6 caused reciprocal effects on neural stem cell renewal and neurogenesis. These data reveal a novel mammalian CSL co-repressor in the nervous system, and show that the Notch-inhibitory activity of certain BEN-solo proteins is conserved between flies and mammals.

Development 140:1892-1902(2013) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]