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  • Inhibition of cortical astrocyte differentiation by Hes6 requires amino- and carboxy-terminal motifs important for dimerization and phosphorylation.

Inhibition of cortical astrocyte differentiation by Hes6 requires amino- and carboxy-terminal motifs important for dimerization and phosphorylation.

Journal of neurochemistry (2007-09-18)
Stephanie Belanger-Jasmin, Estelle Llamosas, Yeman Tang, Kerline Joachim, Ana-Maria Osiceanu, Sumit Jhas, Stefano Stifani
ABSTRACT

Hairy/Enhancer of split (Hes) 6 is a basic helix-loop-helix protein that interacts with the transcriptional co-repressor, Groucho, and antagonizes the neural functions of the Notch pathway. More specifically, mouse Hes6 regulates cerebral corticogenesis by promoting neurogenesis and suppressing astrocyte differentiation. The molecular mechanisms underlying the anti-astrogenic function of Hes6 are poorly defined. Here we describe studies aimed at testing whether Hes6 inhibits astrocyte differentiation by antagonizing the transcription repression activity of Notch-activated Hes family members like Hes1. It is reported that Hes6 preferentially forms homodimers. Heterodimerization with Hes1 is antagonized in part by a conserved N-terminal patch of negatively charged residues. Mutation of this motif enhances heterodimerization with Hes1 and increases Hes6 ability to antagonize Hes1-mediated transcriptional repression. However, this mutation does not increase, but instead decreases, the anti-astrogenic activity of Hes6. It is shown further that Hes6 harbors a second conserved sequence, a C-terminal SPXXSP motif. This sequence is phosphorylated by the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway and its mutation disrupts the anti-astrogenic activity of Hes6 without affecting its ability to suppress Hes1. Together, these observations suggest that Hes6 homodimers regulate astrocyte differentiation through mechanisms that depend on the phosphorylation of Hes6 C-terminal domain but are independent of its ability to suppress Hes1-mediated transcriptional repression.

MATERIALS
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Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
MAP Kinase 1, His•Tag®, Human, Recombinant, E. coli