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Dev Biol. 2005 Feb 1;278(1):103-17.

Evidence for common machinery utilized by the early and late RNA localization pathways in Xenopus oocytes.

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  • 1Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Program, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


In Xenopus, an early and a late pathway exist for the selective localization of RNAs to the vegetal cortex during oogenesis. Previous work has suggested that distinct cellular mechanisms mediate localization during these pathways. Here, we provide several independent lines of evidence supporting the existence of common machinery for RNA localization during the early and late pathways. Data from RNA microinjection assays show that early and late pathway RNAs compete for common localization factors in vivo, and that the same short RNA sequence motifs are required for localization during both pathways. In addition, quantitative filter binding assays demonstrate that the late localization factor Vg RBP/Vera binds specifically to several early pathway RNA localization elements. Finally, confocal imaging shows that early pathway RNAs associate with a perinuclear microtubule network that connects to the mitochondrial cloud of stage I oocytes suggesting that motor driven transport plays a role during the early pathway as it does during the late pathway. Taken together, our data indicate that common machinery functions during the early and late pathways. Thus, RNA localization to the vegetal cortex may be a regulated process such that differential interactions with basal factors determine when distinct RNAs are localized during oogenesis.

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