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Trends Biochem Sci. 1990 Aug;15(8):320-4.

In the beginning is the end: regulation of poly(A) addition and removal during early development.

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Department of Biochemistry, Graduate School, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.


The addition of poly(A) tails to nearly all mRNAs within the nucleus was reviewed in the July issue of TIBS. Here we shift focus to the fate of poly(A) tails during early development. At specific times during oogenesis and embryogenesis, the poly(A) tails of certain maternal mRNAs are lengthened, while the tails of a number of other mRNAs are removed. The selective poly(A) addition reactions are regulated by a short, U-rich sequence in the 3' untranslated region, while the removal of poly(A) from specific mRNAs is a 'default state', requiring no specific sequence. These regulated changes in poly(A) length are likely to play a major role in translational regulation in the egg and early embryo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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