Sugiyama, K., Nishide, K., Matsuo, H., Okigawa, S., Okano, M., Ishitani, T., Matsumoto, K., and Itoh, M. (2010) Delta1 family members are involved in filopodial actin formation and neuronal cell migration independent of Notch signaling. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 398(1):118-124.
Delta family proteins are transmembrane molecules that bind Notch receptors and activate downstream signaling events in neighboring cells. In addition to serving as Notch ligands, Notch-independent roles for Delta have been suggested but are not fully understood. Here, we demonstrate a previously unrecognized role for Delta in filopodial actin formation. Delta1 and Delta4, but not Delta3, exhibit filopodial protrusive activity, and this activity is independent of Notch signaling. The filopodial activity of Delta1 does not depend on the PDZ-binding domain at the C-terminus; however, the intracellular membrane-proximal region that is anchored to the plasma membrane plays an important role in filipodial activity. We further identified a Notch-independent role of DeltaD in neuronal cell migration in zebrafish. These findings suggest a possible functional link between Notch-independent filopodial activity of Delta and the control of cell motility.