TitleNucleolar localization of the Notch4 intracellular domain underpins its regulation of the cellular response to genotoxic stressors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsSaini N, Sarin A
JournalCell Death Discov
Date Published2020

Cell survival is one of the many cellular processes regulated by Notch family of proteins. A comparison of human breast cancer cell lines, which differ in the levels of endogenous Notch4, implicated the protein in regulating susceptibility to apoptosis triggered by genomic damage. In agreement with this observation, increased susceptibility to genotoxic damage was observed following siRNA ablations of Notch4 in two breast cancer cell lines. Further, overexpressing Notch4 intracellular domain (NIC4) tagged to GFP (NIC4-GFP), protected cells from apoptosis triggered by genotoxic drugs. In cells immune-stained for endogenous Notch4, protein was detected in the nucleolus and nucleoplasm, which was also confirmed by the co-localization of NIC4-GFP with RFP-tagged nucleolar proteins in breast cancer cells or the unrelated HEK cell line. Linking functional outcomes to nucleolar localization, NIC4-GFP protection from apoptosis, required the nucleolar proteins Nucleolin and Fibrillarin. Consistently, immunoprecipitation analysis revealed associations between nucleolar proteins-Nucleolin and Nucleophosmin-and Notch4. Microscopy-based biophysical analysis of live cells showed that nucleolar and nucleoplasmic pools of NIC4-GFP are mobile, with some sequestration of nucleolar NIC4-GFP pools. A nucleolar excluded form, NIC4_3RA-GFP, generated by site-directed mutagenesis of the nucleolar localization sequence in NIC4, could not protect from apoptosis triggered by genotoxic stressors. However, transcriptional activity or protection from apoptosis triggered by endoplasmic stress was comparable in cells expressing NIC4_3RA-GFP or NIC4-GFP. Together, the data show that nucleolar localization of NIC4 is critical for the regulation of genomic damage and may be uncoupled from its activities in the nucleoplasm. This study identifies intrinsic features of NIC4 that regulate signaling outcomes activated by the receptor by controlling its spatial localization.

Alternate JournalCell Death Discov
PubMed ID32123583
PubMed Central IDPMC7029026