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Dev Cell. 2005 Oct;9(4):511-22.

An essential cytoplasmic function for the nuclear poly(A) binding protein, PABP2, in poly(A) tail length control and early development in Drosophila.

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Génétique du Développement de la Drosophila, Institut de Génétique Humaine, CNRS UPR 1142, 34396 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


Translational control of maternal mRNA through regulation of poly(A) tail length is crucial during early development. The nuclear poly(A) binding protein, PABP2, was identified biochemically from its role in nuclear polyadenylation. Here, we analyze the in vivo function of PABP2 in Drosophila. PABP2 is required in vivo for polyadenylation, and Pabp2 function, including poly(A) polymerase stimulation, is essential for viability. We also demonstrate an unanticipated cytoplasmic function for PABP2 during early development. In contrast to its role in nuclear polyadenylation, cytoplasmic PABP2 acts to shorten the poly(A) tails of specific mRNAs. PABP2, together with the deadenylase CCR4, regulates the poly(A) tails of oskar and cyclin B mRNAs, both of which are also controlled by cytoplasmic polyadenylation. Both Cyclin B protein levels and embryonic development depend upon this regulation. These results identify a regulator of maternal mRNA poly(A) tail length and highlight the importance of this mode of translational control.

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