The long and winding road: detecting and quantifying Notch activation in endothelial cells

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Lydia L. Wu Stephanie Shen Henry Biermann Mildred Nelson Naina Bagrodia Ann M. Defnet Rebecca Kirschner Peter Hahn Tzintzuni Garcia Fernando Flores-Guzman Jessica J. Kandel Henar Cuervo Sonia L. Hernandez

The family of Notch proteins plays a key role in cell fate determination. Additionally, Notch proteins regulate critical functions of the endothelium, as well as other recruited supporting cells, in concert with other pathways. Despite significant advances in the field and extensive studies focused on elucidating this pathway, many questions remain regarding Notch activation and its upstream/downstream effects, with vascular biology constituting one area of particular interest. Here, we provide a brief description of the components and functions of the Notch pathway in vasculature, followed by a detailed compilation of recommended methods of evaluation in vitro and in vivo. We provide a rationale for key elements when choosing different approaches and controls, strengths and limitations, and essential considerations when providing a meaningful interpretation of results. Our aim is to describe a careful approach to assessing Notch function in endothelial cells, based on underlying principles, with the overall goal of obtaining physiologically relevant information that will enhance our understanding of this pathway and its role in vascular biology.

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WU, Lydia L. et al. The long and winding road: detecting and quantifying Notch activation in endothelial cells. Vascular Cell, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 1, p. 1, dec. 2021. ISSN 2045-824X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 apr. 2024. doi: