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RNA January 1, 1999; 5 (1): 27-38.
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Dual roles of p82, the clam CPEB homolog, in cytoplasmic polyadenylation and translational masking.

Minshall N , Walker J , Dale M , Standart N .

In the transcriptionally inert maturing oocyte and early embryo, control of gene expression is largely mediated by regulated changes in translational activity of maternal mRNAs. Some mRNAs are activated in response to poly(A) tail lengthening; in other cases activation results from de-repression of the inactive or masked mRNA. The 3'' UTR cis-acting elements that direct these changes are defined, principally in Xenopus and mouse, and the study of their trans-acting binding factors is just beginning to shed light on the mechanism and regulation of cytoplasmic polyadenylation and translational masking. In the marine invertebrate, Spisula solidissima, the timing of activation of three abundant mRNAs (encoding cyclin A and B and the small subunit of ribonucleotide reductase, RR) in fertilized oocytes correlates with their cytoplasmic polyadenylation. However, in vitro, mRNA-specific unmasking occurs in the absence of polyadenylation. In Walker et al. (in this issue) we showed that p82, a protein defined as selectively binding the 3'' UTR masking elements, is a homolog of Xenopus CPEB (cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein). In functional studies reported here, the elements that support polyadenylation in clam egg lysates include multiple U-rich CPE-like motifs as well as the nuclear polyadenylation signal AAUAAA. This represents the first detailed analysis of invertebrate cis-acting cytoplasmic polyadenylation signals. Polyadenylation activity correlates with p82 binding in wild-type and CPE-mutant RR 3'' UTR RNAs. Moreover, since anti-p82 antibodies specifically neutralize polyadenylation in egg lysates, we conclude that clam p82 is a functional homolog of Xenopus CPEB, and plays a positive role in polyadenylation. Anti-p82 antibodies also result in specific translational activation of masked mRNAs in oocyte lysates, lending support to our original model of clam p82 as a translational repressor. We propose therefore that clam p82/CPEB has dual functions in masking and cytoplasmic polyadenylation.

PubMed ID: 9917064
PMC ID: PMC1369737
Article link: RNA
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: cpeb1 tbx2

References [+] :
Ballantyne, A dependent pathway of cytoplasmic polyadenylation reactions linked to cell cycle control by c-mos and CDK1 activation. 1997, Pubmed, Xenbase