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Dev Biol. 2004 Feb 15;266(2):270-84.

Xvelo1 uses a novel 75-nucleotide signal sequence that drives vegetal localization along the late pathway in Xenopus oocytes.

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  • 1Institut für Biochemie und Molekulare Zellbiologie, Georg-August-Universität, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


Vegetally localized RNAs in Xenopus laevis oocytes are involved in the patterning of the early embryo as well as in cell fate specification. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of a novel, vegetally localized RNA in Xenopus oocytes termed Xvelo1. It encodes a protein of unknown biological function and it represents an antisense RNA for XPc1 over a length of more than 1.8 kb. Xvelo1 exhibits a localization pattern reminiscent of the late pathway RNAs Vg1 and VegT; it contains RNA localization elements (LE) which do not match with the consensus structural features as deduced from Vg1 and VegT LEs. Nevertheless, the protein binding pattern as observed for Xvelo1-LE in UV cross-linking experiments and coimmunoprecipitation assays is largely overlapping with the one obtained for Vg1-LE. These observations suggest that the structural features recognized by the protein machinery that drives localization of maternal mRNAs along the late pathway in Xenopus oocytes must be redefined.

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