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Dev Biol August 1, 2002; 248 (1): 82-92.

A consensus RNA signal that directs germ layer determinants to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus oocytes.

Bubunenko M , Kress TL , Vempati UD , Mowry KL , King ML .

RNA localization is an important mechanism for generating cellular diversity and polarity in the early embryo. In Xenopus, the correct localization of the RNA encoding the T-box transcription factor VegT is essential for the correct spatial organization and identity of endoderm and mesoderm. Although localization signals in the 3'' UTR have been identified for many localized RNAs, insight into what constitutes an RNA localization signal remains elusive. To investigate possible common features between signals that direct different RNAs to the same subcellular region, we carried out a detailed analysis of the uncharacterized VegT RNA localization signal and compared it with the well-studied Vg1 localization signal. Both RNAs localize to the vegetal cortex during the same period of oogenesis. Our results suggest a common RNA localization signal at the level of clustered redundant protein-binding motifs and trans-acting factors. We propose that what characterizes RNA localization signals in general is not the nucleotide sequence or secondary structure per se, but the critical clustering of specific redundant protein-binding motifs.

PubMed ID: 12142022
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: gdf1 igf2bp3 ptbp1 s100a1 vegt

Article Images: [+] show captions