UBR-5, a conserved HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligase, negatively regulates notch-type signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

Komal Safdar, Anniya Gu, Xia Xu, Vinci Au, Jon Taylor, Stephane Flibotte, Donald G. Moerman, Eleanor M. Maine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Notch-type signaling mediates cell2cell interactions important for animal development. In humans, reduced or inappropriate Notch signaling activity is associated with various developmental defects and disease states, including cancers. Caenorhabditis elegans expresses two Notch-type receptors, GLP-1 and LIN-12. GLP-1 mediates several cell-signaling events in the embryo and promotes germline proliferation in the developing and adult gonad. LIN-12 acts redundantly with GLP-1 in certain inductive events in the embryo and mediates several cell2cell interactions during larval development. Recovery of genetic suppressors and enhancers of glp-1 or lin-12 loss- or gain-of-function mutations has identified numerous regulators of GLP-1 and LIN-12 signaling activity. Here, we report the molecular identification of sog-1, a gene identified in screens for recessive suppressors of conditional glp-1 loss-of-function mutations. The sog-1 gene encodes UBR-5, the sole C. elegans member of the UBR5/Hyd family of HECT-type E3 ubiquitin ligases. Molecular and genetic analyses indicate that the loss of ubr-5 function suppresses defects caused by reduced signaling via GLP-1 or LIN-12. In contrast, ubr-5 mutations do not suppress embryonic or larval lethality associated with mutations in a downstream transcription factor, LAG-1. In the gonad, ubr-5 acts in the receiving cells (germ cells) to limit GLP-1 signaling activity. SEL-10 is the F-box component of SCFSEL-10 E3 ubiquitin-ligase complex that promotes turnover of Notch intracellular domain. UBR-5 acts redundantly with SEL-10 to limit Notch signaling in certain tissues. We hypothesize that UBR-5 activity limits Notch-type signaling by promoting turnover of receptor or limiting its interaction with pathway components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2125-2134
Number of pages10
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • GLP-1
  • Germ cell
  • HECT domain
  • LIN-12
  • Notch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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