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Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA January 1, 2021; 12 (4): e1642.

Germ cell ribonucleoprotein granules in different clades of life: From insects to mammals.

Mukherjee N , Mukherjee C .

Ribonucleoprotein (RNP) granules are no newcomers in biology. Found in all life forms, ranging across taxa, these membrane-less "organelles" have been classified into different categories based on their composition, structure, behavior, function, and localization. Broadly, they can be listed as stress granules (SGs), processing bodies (PBs), neuronal granules (NGs), and germ cell granules (GCGs). Keeping in line with the topic of this review, RNP granules present in the germ cells have been implicated in a wide range of cellular functions including cellular specification, differentiation, proliferation, and so forth. The mechanisms used by them can be diverse and many of them remain partly obscure and active areas of research. GCGs can be of different types in different organisms and at different stages of development, with multiple types coexisting in the same cell. In this review, the different known subcategories of GCGs have been studied with respect to five distinct model organisms, namely, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus, Zebrafish, and mammals. Of them, the cytoplasmic polar granules in Drosophila, P granules in C. elegans, balbiani body in Xenopus and Zebrafish, and chromatoid bodies in mammals have been specifically emphasized upon. A descriptive account of the same has been provided along with insights into our current understanding of their functional significance with respect to cellular events relating to different developmental and reproductive processes. This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > RNA-Protein Complexes RNA Export and Localization > RNA Localization RNA in Disease and Development > RNA in Disease.

PubMed ID: 33555143
Article link: Wiley Interdiscip Rev RNA
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis