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Dev Biol. 2000 Apr 1;220(1):97-109.

Translational control of cyclin B1 mRNA during meiotic maturation: coordinated repression and cytoplasmic polyadenylation.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, 433 Babcock Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.


Translational control is prominent during meiotic maturation and early development. In this report, we investigate a mode of translational repression in Xenopus laevis oocytes, focusing on the mRNA encoding cyclin B1. Translation of cyclin B1 mRNA is relatively inactive in the oocyte and increases dramatically during meiotic maturation. We show, by injection of synthetic mRNAs, that the cis-acting sequences responsible for repression of cyclin B1 mRNA reside within its 3'UTR. Repression can be saturated by increasing the concentration of reporter mRNA injected, suggesting that the cyclin B1 3'UTR sequences provide a binding site for a trans-acting repressor. The sequences that direct repression overlap and include cytoplasmic polyadenylation elements (CPEs), sequences known to promote cytoplasmic polyadenylation. However, the presence of a CPE per se appears insufficient to cause repression, as other mRNAs that contain CPEs are not translationally repressed. We demonstrate that relief of repression and cytoplasmic polyadenylation are intimately linked. Repressing elements do not override the stimulatory effect of a long poly(A) tail, and polyadenylation of cyclin B1 mRNA is required for its translational recruitment. Our results suggest that translational recruitment of endogenous cyclin B1 mRNA is a collaborative effect of derepression and poly(A) addition. We discuss several molecular mechanisms that might underlie this collaboration.

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