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Science. 2000 Sep 22;289(5487):2120-2.

A function for kinesin I in the posterior transport of oskar mRNA and Staufen protein.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA.


The asymmetric localization of messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein determinants plays an important role in the establishment of complex body plans. In Drosophila oocytes, the anterior localization of bicoid mRNA and the posterior localization of oskar mRNA are key events in establishing the anterior-posterior axis. Although the mechanisms that drive bicoid and oskar localization have been elusive, oocyte microtubules are known to be essential. Here we report that the plus end-directed microtubule motor kinesin I is required for the posterior localization of oskar mRNA and an associated protein, Staufen, but not for the anterior-posterior localization of other asymmetric factors. Thus, a complex containing oskar mRNA and Staufen may be transported along microtubules to the posterior pole by kinesin I.

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