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Mol Cell Biol January 1, 1997; 17 (1): 209-18.

Postfertilization deadenylation of mRNAs in Xenopus laevis embryos is sufficient to cause their degradation at the blastula stage.

Audic Y , Omilli F , Osborne HB .

Although the maternal Xenopus laevis Eg mRNAs are deadenylated after fertilization, they are not immediately degraded and they persist in the embryos as poly(A)- transcripts. The degradation of these RNAs is not detected until the blastula stage of development (6 to 7 h postfertilization). To understand the basis for this delay between deadenylation and degradation, it is necessary to identify the cis-acting element(s) required to trigger degradation in blastula stage embryos. To this end, several chimeric RNAs containing different portions of the 3'' untranslated region of Eg2 mRNA were injected into two-cell X. laevis embryos. We observed that only the RNAs that contained the cis-acting elements that confer rapid deadenylation were subsequently degraded at the blastula stage. This suggested that deadenylation may be sufficient to trigger degradation. By injecting chimeric RNAs devoid of Eg sequence information, we further showed that only deadenylated RNAs were degraded in X. laevis embryos. Last, introduction of a functional cytoplasmic polyadenylation element into a poly(A)- RNA, thereby causing its polyadenylation after injection into embryos, protected the RNA from degradation. Hence, in X. laevis embryos, the postfertilization deadenylation of maternal Eg mRNAs is sufficient to cause the degradation of an mRNA, which, however, only becomes apparent at the blastula stage. Possible causes for this delay between deadenylation and degradation are discussed in the light of these results.

PubMed ID: 8972201
PMC ID: PMC231745
Article link: Mol Cell Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: aurka

References [+] :
Bassez, Post-transcriptional regulation of ornithine decarboxylase in Xenopus laevis oocytes. 1991, Pubmed, Xenbase