Matsuda, M., Rand, K., Palardy, G., Shimizu, N., Ikeda, H., Nogare, D.D., Itoh, M., Chitnis, A.B. (2016) Epb41l5 competes with Delta as a substrate for Mib1 to coordinate specification and differentiation of neurons. Development (Cambridge, England). 143(17):3085-96.
We identified Erythrocyte membrane Protein Band 4.1-like 5 (Epb41l5) as a substrate for the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mind bomb 1 (Mib1) which is essential for activation of Notch signaling. While loss of Epb41l5 does not significantly alter the pattern of Neural Progenitor Cells (NPCs) specified as neurons at the neural plate stage, it delays their delamination and differentiation after neurulation when NPCs normally acquire organized Apical Junctional Complexes (AJCs) in the zebrafish hindbrain. Delays in differentiation are reduced by knocking-down N-cadherin, a manipulation expected to help destabilize Adherens Junctions (AJs). This suggested that delays in neuronal differentiation in epb41l5 deficient embryos are related to a previously described role for Epb41l5 in facilitating disassembly of cadherin-dependent AJCs. Mib1 ubiquitinates Epb41l5 to promote its degradation. DeltaD can compete with Epb41l5 to reduce Mib1-dependent Epb41l5 degradation and increasing the number of NPCs specified to become neurons, expressing high levels of DeltaD, stabilizes Epb41l5 in the embryo. Together, these observations suggest that relatively high levels of Delta stabilize Epb41l5 in NPCs specified as neurons. This, we suggest, helps coordinate NPC specification with Epb41l5-dependent delamination and differentiation as neurons.