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EMBO J June 1, 1998; 17 (11): 3168-75.

Meiotic maturation in Xenopus requires polyadenylation of multiple mRNAs.

Barkoff A , Ballantyne S , Wickens M .

Cytoplasmic polyadenylation of specific mRNAs commonly is correlated with their translational activation during development. Here, we focus on links between cytoplasmic polyadenylation, translational activation and the control of meiotic maturation in Xenopus oocytes. We manipulate endogenous c-mos mRNA, which encodes a protein kinase that regulates meiotic maturation. We determined that translational activation of endogenous c-mos mRNA requires a long poly(A) tail per se, rather than the process of polyadenylation. For this, we injected ''prosthetic'' poly(A)_synthetic poly(A) tails designed to attach by base pairing to endogenous c-mos mRNA that has had its own polyadenylation signals removed. This prosthetic poly(A) tail activates c-mos translation and restores meiotic maturation in response to progesterone. Thus the role of polyadenylation in activating c-mos mRNA differs from its role in activating certain other mRNAs, for which the act of polyadenylation is required. In the absence of progesterone, prosthetic poly(A) does not stimulate c-mos expression, implying that progesterone acts at additional steps to elevate c-Mos protein. By using a general inhibitor of polyadenylation together with prosthetic poly(A), we demonstrate that these additional steps include polyadenylation of at least one other mRNA, in addition to that of c-mos mRNA. These other mRNAs, encoding regulators of meiotic maturation, act upstream of c-Mos in the meiotic maturation pathway.

PubMed ID: 9606198
PMC ID: PMC1170655
Article link: EMBO J

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: mos

References [+] :
Ballantyne, Poly (A) polymerases in the nucleus and cytoplasm of frog oocytes: dynamic changes during oocyte maturation and early development. 1996, Pubmed, Xenbase