In the developing pancreas, the onset of exocrine differentiation is driven by the activity of the PTF1 (pancreas transciption factor 1) transcriptional complex, which is comprised of the class II bHLH (basic helix-loop-helix) protein, Ptf1-p48 [also known as Ptf1a (pancreas specific transcription factor 1a)], and a class I E-box binding partner. Activity of the PTF1 complex is normally inhibited by the Notch signalling pathway, a process mediated by Notch effector proteins in the HES (Hairy/Enhancer of Split) family of bHLH transcriptional repressors. In the present study, we show that this inhibitory effect occurs through direct interaction between HES family members and Ptf1-p48. The HES family members Hey 1 (hairy/enhancer-of-split related with YRPW motif 1) and Hey2 co-immunoprecipitate with Ptf1-p48, and Ptf1-p48 binding by Hes1 is also evident in yeast two-hybrid and GST (glutathione S-transferase) pull-down assays. The ability of Hes1 to interact with Ptf1-p48 resides within a fragment comprised of the bHLH, Orange and C-terminal domains, and does not require the N-terminal or WRPW elements. The ability of truncated versions of Hes1 to bind Ptf1-p48 correlates with their ability to down-regulate the activity of the PTF1 transcriptional complex, defining Ptf1-p48 binding as the most likely mechanism by which Notch effector proteins delay exocrine pancreatic differentiation.
- Hairy/Enhancer of Split (HES)
- Pancreas transciption factor 1 (PTF1)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology