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EMBO J. 1995 Oct 16;14(20):5109-14.

Vg1 RNA binding protein mediates the association of Vg1 RNA with microtubules in Xenopus oocytes.

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Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Hebrew University Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.


Localized RNAs are found in a variety of somatic and developing cell types. In many cases, microtubules have been implicated as playing a role in facilitating transport of these RNAs. Here we report that Vg1 RNA, which is localized to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus laevis oocytes, is associated with microtubules in vivo. Because of the ubiquitous nature of tubulin, the association of specific RNAs with microtubules is likely to involve factors that recognize both RNA and microtubules. Vg1 RNA binding protein (Vg1 RBP), previously shown to bind with high affinity to the vegetal localization site in Vg1 RNA, appears to function in this capacity. Vg1 RBP is associated with microtubules: it is enriched in microtubule extracts of oocytes and is also co-precipitated by heterologous, polymerized tubulin. Furthermore, Vg1 RBP binding activity is required for the specific association of Vg1 RNA to microtubules in vitro. These data suggest a general model for how specific RNAs can be localized to particular sites via common cytoskeletal elements.

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