GAS1 is required for Notch-dependent facilitation of SHH signaling in the ventral forebrain neuroepithelium


  • M. Marczenke
  • D. Sunaga
  • O. Popp
  • I.W. Althaus
  • S. Sauer
  • P. Mertins
  • A. Christ
  • B.L. Allen
  • T.E. Willnow


  • Development


  • Development 148 (21): dev200080


  • Growth arrest-specific 1 (GAS1) acts as a co-receptor to Patched 1 promoting sonic hedgehog (SHH) signaling in the developing nervous system. GAS1 mutations in humans and animal models result in forebrain and craniofacial malformations, defects ascribed to a function for GAS1 in SHH signaling during early neurulation. Here, we confirm loss of SHH activity in the forebrain neuroepithelium in GAS1-deficient mice and in iPSC-derived cell models of human neuroepithelial differentiation. However, our studies document that this defect can be attributed, at least in part, to a novel role for GAS1 in facilitating Notch signaling, essential to sustain a persistent SHH activity domain in the forebrain neuroepithelium. GAS1 directly binds NOTCH1, enhancing ligand-induced processing of the NOTCH1 intracellular domain, which drives Notch pathway activity in the developing forebrain. Our findings identify a unique role for GAS1 in integrating Notch and SHH signal reception in neuroepithelial cells, and they suggest that loss of GAS1-dependent NOTCH1 activation contributes to forebrain malformations in individuals carrying GAS1 mutations.