Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 66, Issue 10, pp 1631–1646 | Cite as

The Notch signaling pathway: Transcriptional regulation at Notch target genes

  • T. BorggrefeEmail author
  • F. Oswald
Open Access


The Notch gene encodes a transmembrane receptor that gave the name to the evolutionary highly conserved Notch signaling cascade. It plays a pivotal role in the regulation of many fundamental cellular processes such as proliferation, stem cell maintenance and differentiation during embryonic and adult development. After specific ligand binding, the intracellular part of the Notch receptor is cleaved off and translocates to the nucleus, where it binds to the transcription factor RBP-J. In the absence of activated Notch, RBP-J represses Notch target genes by recruiting a corepressor complex. Here, we review Notch signaling with a focus on gene regulatory events at Notch target genes. This is of utmost importance to understand Notch signaling since certain RBP-J associated cofactors and particular epigenetic marks determine the specificity of Notch target gene expression in different cell types. We subsequently summarize the current knowledge about Notch target genes and the physiological significance of Notch signaling in development and cancer.


Notch signaling transcription recombination signal sequence-binding protein Jkappa (RBP-Jκ/ CSL) chromatin and epigenetic regulation leukemia 

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular and Molecular ImmunologyMax-Planck-Institute of ImmunobiologyFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine IUniversity of UlmUlmGermany

Personalised recommendations