Suppressor of Hairless[Su(H)], the Drosophila homologue of RBP-J x is a novel type of sequence-specific DNA binding protein without known motifs, and highly conserved in various organisms. Su(H) regulates peripheral nervous system (PNS) development. Recently Su(H) was suggested to participate in the Notch-mediated signal transduction pathway. We show here that the Su(H) protein binds to TGTGGGAA sequence located 616 base-pairs upstream of the transcription initiation site of the Enhancer of split [E(spl)]m8 gene which is mapped to the terminus of the genetic cascade of the neurogenic genes. Su(H) transactivates the E(spl)m8 promoter not only in cultured Drosophila cells but also in vivo. The present study bridges the biochemical gap between Notch and E(spl) in the neurogenic gene cascade including Delta, Notch, deltex, Su(H), Hairless and E(spl).
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