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Content archived on 2024-05-29

The role of mRNA nuclear export factors in mRNA localization in the cytoplasm during Drosophila development


Asymmetric mRNA localization is a common posttranscriptional method by which cells target proteins efficiently to their site of function. In most cases, the destination of mRNAs is determined by an interaction between RNA and trans-acting factors. However, i t is unclear which trans-acting factors are universally required for mRNA export and whether different export factors may have specialized roles in the transport and localization of subpopulations of mRNAs and/or at different times or tissues in development.

In the proposed project, we will focus on the role of mRNA nuclear export factors inmRNA localization in the cytoplasm. Members of this family include the "nuclear export factors"(NXFs) and their cofactors. Some NXFs and their cofactors are involved in general export of all RNAs, such as NXF1 or Aly/Refl. In culture cells, an accumulation of polyadenylated RNAs isobserved when NXF1 or Aly/Refl are depleted. In higher eukaryotes, the diversity of mRNA nuclear export factors suggests the involvement of these t rans-acting factors in other mechanisms than the nuclear export.

These alternative mechanisms can be in relation with the transport, localization, anchoring or/and translation of mRNA in the cytoplasm. Interestingly in Drosophila, our unpublished data shows t hat NXF2 is required for dorso-ventral axis specification, suggesting a role in gurkenmRNA localization. We will use a targeted genetic screen to study the role of each component inmRNA transport and/or localization. We expect that this study will allow us to understand how generalmRNA export factors are required in the cytoplasm for mRNA localization.

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Old College
United Kingdom

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