Wright, G.J., Leslie, J.D., Ariza-McNaughton, L., and Lewis, J. (2004) Delta proteins and MAGI proteins: an interaction of Notch ligands with intracellular scaffolding molecules and its significance for zebrafish development. Development (Cambridge, England). 131(22):5659-5669.
Delta proteins activate Notch through a binding reaction that depends on their extracellular domains; but the intracellular (C-terminal) domains of the Deltas also have significant functions. All classes of vertebrates possess a subset of Delta proteins with a conserved ATEV(*) motif at their C termini. These ATEV Deltas include Delta1 and Delta4 in mammals and DeltaD and DeltaC in the zebrafish. We show that these Deltas associate with the membrane-associated scaffolding proteins MAGI1, MAGI2 and MAGI3, through a direct interaction between the C termini of the Deltas and a specific PDZ domain (PDZ4) of the MAGIs. In cultured cells and in subsets of cells in the intact zebrafish embryo, DeltaD and MAGI1 are co-localized at the plasma membrane. The interaction and the co-localization can be abolished by injection of a morpholino that blocks the mRNA splicing reaction that gives DeltaD its terminal valine, on which the interaction depends. Embryos treated in this way appear normal with respect to some known functions of DeltaD as a Notch ligand, including the control of somite segmentation, neurogenesis, and hypochord formation. They do, however, show an anomalous distribution of Rohon-Beard neurons in the dorsal neural tube, suggesting that the Delta-MAGI interaction may play some part in the control of neuron migration.