XB-ART-23017Development January 1, 1993; 117 (1): 377-86.
A mRNA localized to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus oocytes encodes a protein with a nanos-like zinc finger domain.
mRNAs concentrated in specific regions of the oocyte have been found to encode determinants that specify cell fate. We show that an intermediate filament fraction isolated from Xenopus stage VI oocytes specifically contains, in addition to Vg1 RNA, a new localized mRNA, Xcat-2. Like Vg1, Xcat-2 is found in the vegetal cortical region, is inherited by the vegetal blasomeres during development, and is degraded very early in development. Sequence analysis suggests that Xcat-2 encodes a protein that belongs to the CCHC RNA-binding family of zinc finger proteins. Interestingly, the closest known relative to Xcat-2 in this family is nanos, an RNA localized to the posterior pole of the Drosophila oocyte whose protein product suppresses the translation of the transcription factor hunchback. The localized and maternally restricted expression of Xcat-2 RNA suggests a role for its protein in setting up regional differences in gene expression that occur early in development.
PubMed ID: 8223259
Article link: Development
Grant support: GM33932 NIGMS NIH HHS , HD07129 NICHD NIH HHS
Genes referenced: eef1a2 gdf1 nanos1 tbx2
Article Images: [+] show captions
|Fig. 1. Xcat-2 RNA is highly concentrated in the cytoskeletal fraction of stage VI oocytes. A northern blot of stage VI total RNA isolated from the IFF ( ) and SF was probed separately with Xcat-2, Vg1, and histone H3 32P-labeled DNA. In oocytes, IFF RNA is four-fold more concentrated in poly(A)+ material as determined by poly(U) hybridization (data not shown). Therefore, four-fold more SF RNA (16 mg) was loaded to allow comparison of mRNA concentration between the SF and IFF. Note that like Vg1, Xcat-2 (0.9 kb) is highly concentrated in IFF RNA whereas histone H3 RNA, the internal marker for poly(A)+ material, is of equal concentration in the two fractions.|
|Fig. 2. Xcat-2 is localized to the vegetal pole in the stage VI oocyte and embryo. A northern blot of regional RNA extracted from cryostat-sectioned oocytes (King and Barklis, 1985) and embryos was hybridized separately with Xcat-2, Vg1, and histone H3 32P-labeled DNA. On the left blot, total RNA isolated from animal pole (An) and vegetal pole (Vg) fifths of stage VI oocytes is shown. Five-fold less vegetal pole than animal pole poly(A)+ RNA was loaded on the blot (note histone H3 levels), yet Xcat-2 was detected only in the vegetal fifth. On the right blot, each lane contains total RNA (15 mg) isolated from one fifth of 4- to 8-cell embryos sectioned along the animal/vegetal axis (An/Vg). Again, Xcat-2 and Vg1 are found only in the most vegetal fifth (200 mm) of the embryo.|
|Fig. 3. In situ hybridization of Xcat-2 in oocyte. Paraffin sections along the animal-vegetal axis of stage VI oocytes were hybridized with 35S-labeled Xcat-2 antisense RNA probes. The A/V axis is indicated by arrowheads with the animal (An) pole at the top and the vegetal pole (Vg) at the bottom of the figure. The hybridization signal is represented by silver grains (black) in this bright-field photograph. The small arrows mark the extent of cortical hybridization. Autoradiographic exposure was for 14 days.|
|Fig. 4. Xcat-2 expression is developmentally regulated. (A) RNA was extracted from the IFF ( ) and SF (unlabeled) of stage VI oocytes (VI), ovulated eggs (OE), gastrulae (G), and neurulae (N). The same filters were successively hybridized with 32P-labeled Vg1, Xcat-2, and H3 histone DNA. Xcat-2 is barely detected by gastrulation. Note: Autoradiograms were over-exposed to show any weak responses at later stages of development. (B) RNAase protection analysis showing Vg1, Xcat-2 and EF1a levels in the IFF and SF for stage VI oocytes (VI) and ovulated eggs (OE). Xcat-2 RNA is not released from the IFF at maturation as is Vg1 but remains concentrated in that fraction.|
|Fig. 5. Diagram and Sequence of the Xcat-2 Transcript. (A) Map of Xcat-2 cDNA (B) DNA sequence of Xcat-2 with amino acid single letter translation. The numbering begins with the 5¢ end of the cDNA clone. The start and stop codons are in bold type and the TAAAT polyadenylation signal is underlined. Potential phosphorylation sites are circled.|
|Fig. 6. Comparison between the Xcat-2 and nanos derived protein sequence. (A) Cartoon of Xcat-2 and nanos protein. Numbers refer to amino acid position. The region of homology between the two proteins is black and the histone-like region in Xcat-2 is shaded. Putative casein kinase II sites are indicated by open rectangles; protein kinase C sites are denoted by black rectangles. (B) Region of homology. Identical amino acids are enclosed in boxes in the two proteins. Conserved substitutions are marked as a vertical bar. The black dots mark the cysteines and histidines within this region that are hypothesized to form a zinc finger motif present in both proteins. (C) Comparison of the Xcat-2 zinc finger motif with three other zinc finger families: RNAbinding family (Green and Berg, 1989); damaged DNA family (Uchida et al., 1987) and the protein-protein family (Berg, 1990).|
|Fig. 7. Comparison of a short sequence found in the Xcat-2 protein and selected proteins that interact with nucleic acids. A 10 amino acid stretch in Xcat-2 showed identity with 7 amino acids (9 allowing conserved substitutions) with a region in histone H1 located within the DNA-binding loop. A search of protein sequence banks revealed a short list of other proteins 70% identical with this region; none were completely identical. Many of these proteins interact with nucleic acids or nucleotides. Selected examples of such proteins are listed. Amino acids identical to the Xcat-2 region are boxed, conserved substitutions are marked with a black dot. The histone H1 sequence is identical in cow, human, rabbit, chicken, mouse and rat (Allan et al., 1980). DpnI is a restriction enzyme, endonuclease from Streptococcus pneumonia. Also listed are AT-BP1, a zinc finger protein found in rats (Mitchelmore et al., 1991); EF-Tu, an elongation factor (Jurnak, 1985); LCVLA L protein, a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (Singh et al., 1987); NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone).|