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Cell Rep. 2013 Dec 12;5(5):1169-77. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.10.045. Epub 2013 Nov 27.

Germ plasm anchoring is a dynamic state that requires persistent trafficking.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
2
Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.
3
Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA. Electronic address: gavis@princeton.edu.

Abstract

Localized cytoplasmic determinants packaged as ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles direct embryonic patterning and cell fate specification in a wide range of organisms. Once established, the asymmetric distributions of such RNP particles must be maintained, often over considerable developmental time. A striking example is the Drosophila germ plasm, which contains RNP particles whose localization to the posterior of the egg during oogenesis results in their asymmetric inheritance and segregation of germline from somatic fates in the embryo. Although actin-based anchoring mechanisms have been implicated, high-resolution live imaging revealed persistent trafficking of germ plasm RNP particles at the posterior cortex of the Drosophila oocyte. This motility relies on cortical microtubules, is mediated by kinesin and dynein motors, and requires coordination between the microtubule and actin cytoskeletons. Finally, we show that RNP particle motility is required for long-term germ plasm retention. We propose that anchoring is a dynamic state that renders asymmetries robust to developmental time and environmental perturbations.

PMID:
24290763
PMCID:
PMC4149184
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2013.10.045
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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