Journal of biochemistry

Molecular cloning of delta-4, a new mouse and human Notch ligand.

PMID 11134954


Complementary DNAs encoding a previously unidentified mouse Notch ligand and its human ortholog were isolated. The new Notch ligand contains a signal sequence, a DSL domain, eight epidermal growth factor-like repeats, a transmembrane domain, and an intracellular region, all of which are characteristics of members of the Delta protein family. The new protein was therefore designated Delta-4. Several previously unidentified sequences in both the extracellular and intracellular regions were shown to be conserved among vertebrate Delta proteins. The tissue distribution of Delta-4 mRNA resembles that previously described for Notch-4 (Int-3) transcripts. However, in situ hybridization with mouse lung revealed that Delta-4 mRNA is abundant in squamous alveolar cells that neighbor endothelial cells; Notch-4 expression is largely restricted to the latter cell type. Soluble forms of the extracellular portion of Delta-4 inhibit the apparent proliferation of human aortic endothelial cells, but not human pulmonary arterial endothelial cells.