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Mol Cell. 1999 Sep;4(3):431-7.

A Xenopus protein related to hnRNP I has a role in cytoplasmic RNA localization.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912, USA.


Cytoplasmic localization of mRNA molecules is a powerful mechanism for generating cell polarity. In vertebrates, one paradigm is localization of Vg1 RNA within the Xenopus oocyte, a process directed by recognition of a localization element within the Vg1 3' UTR. We show that specific base changes within the localization element abolish both localization in vivo and binding in vitro by a single protein, VgRBP60. VgRBP60 is homologous to a human hnRNP protein, hnRNP I, and combined immunolocalization and in situ hybridization demonstrate striking colocalization of hnRNP I and Vg1 RNA within the vegetal cytoplasm of the Xenopus oocyte. These results implicate a novel role in cytoplasmic RNA transport for this family of nuclear RNA-binding proteins.

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