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Development 1998 Jan 01;1252:171-80. doi: 10.1242/dev.125.2.171.
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A Xenopus DAZ-like gene encodes an RNA component of germ plasm and is a functional homologue of Drosophila boule.

Houston DW , Zhang J , Maines JZ , Wasserman SA , King ML .

We have identified a localized RNA component of Xenopus germ plasm. This RNA, Xdazl (Xenopus DAZ-like), encodes a protein homologous to human DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia), vertebrate DAZL and Drosophila Boule proteins. Human males deficient in DAZ have few or no sperm and boule mutant flies exhibit complete azoospermia and male sterility. Xdazl RNA was detected in the mitochondrial cloud and vegetal cortex of oocytes. In early embryos, the RNA was localized exclusively in the germ plasm. Consistent with other organisms, Xdazl RNA was also expressed in the spermatogonia and spermatocytes of frog testis. Proteins in the DAZ-family contain a conserved RNP domain implying an RNA-binding function. We have shown that Xdazl can function in vitro as an RNA-binding protein. To determine if the function of Xdazl in spermatogenesis was conserved, we introduced the Xdazl cDNA into boule flies. This resulted in rescue of the boule meiotic entry phenotype, including formation of spindles, phosphorylation of histone H3 and completion of meiotic cell division. Overall, these results suggest that Xdazl may be important for primordial germ cell specification in the early embryo and may play a role analogous to Boule in promoting meiotic cell division.

PubMed ID: 9486791
Article link: Development
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: azin2 dazl vim

Article Images: [+] show captions