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Int Rev Cytol. 2001;203:541-66.

RNA localization and translational regulation during axis specification in the Drosophila oocyte.

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Program in Developmental Biology, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The major axes of the oocyte-antero-posterior and dorso-ventral-are established over a one-day period during mid-oogenesis in Drosophila. The same molecule, GURKEN (GRK), functions to initiate signaling between the oocyte and the surrounding, somatically derived follicle cells. This results first in specification of the antero-posterior axis and, later, the dorso-ventral axis of the oocyte and surrounding follicle cells. Central to specification of both axes is a combination of cytoplasmic localization and translational regulation of the grk RNA. Here we discuss the mechanisms by which the grk RNA is localized within the oocyte and the role of translational regulation in spatially restricting the production of GRK protein. We then discuss the generality of these mechanisms during oogenesis by focusing on a second transcript, oskar, whose function is also regulated through a combination of transcript localization and translational control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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