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XB-ART-26346
Genes Dev December 1, 1989; 3 (12B): 2151-62.

Poly(A) addition during maturation of frog oocytes: distinct nuclear and cytoplasmic activities and regulation by the sequence UUUUUAU.

Fox CA , Sheets MD , Wickens MP .


Abstract
In frog oocytes, certain maternal mRNAs receive poly(A) in the cytoplasm during progesterone-induced maturation. To analyze this reaction and to compare it to poly(A) addition in the nucleus, we injected short, synthetic RNA substrates into Xenopus oocytes. These RNAs contain only portions of the 3''-untranslated regions of appropriate mRNAs and end at the natural poly(A) site. We demonstrate that the nuclear and maturation-specific polyadenylation activities are distinct in substrate specificity and subcellular location. The sequence AAUAAA, contained in virtually all pre-mRNAs, is necessary for both activities. A second sequence element, UUUUUAU, activates poly(A) addition during maturation. UUUUUAU and AAUAAA are both necessary and virtually sufficient for maturation-specific polyadenylation: Poly(A) tails of between 50 and 300 nucleotides are added during maturation to RNAs containing both sequences but not to RNAs that lack either sequence. Before maturation, RNAs that contain AAUAAA are extended by just 10 nucleotides, presumably adenosines. The maturation-specific activity first appears within 1 hr of the time the nucleus breaks down but apparently does not require a nuclear component, as it is unaffected by enucleation. These observations, combined with those of others, lead us to speculate that polyadenylation may be responsible for the translational activation of a family of mRNAs essential for maturation.

PubMed ID: 2628165
Article link: Genes Dev
Grant support: [+]