CELL BIOLOGY: Cell Fate and Endocytosis

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Science  22 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5500, pp. 2213d
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5500.2213d

The Drosophila protein Numb helps to determine cell fate during development because it is asymmetrically distributed during cell division. Numb is known to interact with Notch, a receptor that also is involved in specification of cell fate.

Santolini et al. examined whether Numb may play a general role in cells and discovered that it appears to be important in enabling endocytosis at the cell surface. In mammalian cells, Numb protein was associated with endosomes and trafficked together with internalized proteins such as the transferrin receptor. It co-localized with the clathrin adaptor protein α adaptin as well as with another endocytic marker protein, Eps15. When cells were engineered to express fragments of Numb, clathrin-mediated endocytosis was inhibited. Further analysis will be required to define how Numb inhibits endocytosis, and to determine if its role in cell fate specification and its interaction with Notch are linked to its participation in endocytosis. — SMH

J. Cell Biol.151, 1345 (2000).

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