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J Cell Sci. 2005 Jan 15;118(Pt 2):269-82.

RNA localization mechanisms in oocytes.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, The University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


In many animals, normal development depends on the asymmetric distribution of maternal determinants, including various coding and noncoding RNAs, within the oocyte. The temporal and spatial distribution of localized RNAs is determined by intricate mechanisms that regulate their movement and anchoring. These mechanisms involve cis-acting sequences within the RNA molecules and a multitude of trans-acting factors, as well as a polarized cytoskeleton, molecular motors and specific transporting organelles. The latest studies show that the fates of localized RNAs within the oocyte cytoplasm are predetermined in the nucleus and that nuclear proteins, some of them deposited on RNAs during splicing, together with the components of the RNA-silencing pathway, dictate the proper movement, targeting, anchoring and translatability of localized RNAs.

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