The notch gene belongs to a family of epidermal growth factor (EGF) like homeotic genes, which encode transmembrane proteins with a variable number of cysteine-rich EGF-like repeats in the extracellular region. Four notch genes have been described in mammals: Notch1, Notch2, Notch3 and Notch4(Int-3), which have been implicated in the differentiation of the nervous system and other structures. The EGF-like proteins Delta and Serrate have been identified as ligands of Notch1. Mature Notch proteins are heterodimeric receptors derived from the cleavage of Notch pre-proteins into an extracellular subunit (NEC) containing multiple EGF-like repeats and a transmembrane subunit including intracellular region (Ntm).View more
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