A 69-kDa RNA-binding protein from Xenopus oocytes recognizes a common motif in two vegetally localized maternal mRNAs

Sigal Pressman Schwartz, Leora Aisenthal, Zichrini Elisha, Froma Oberman, Joel K. Yisraeli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vg1 mRNA, a maternal message encoding a member of the transforming growth factor β superfamily, undergoes localization to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus laevis oocytes during a narrow period of oogenesis. A 340-nucleotide sequence has been identified in Vg1 RNA that directs its vegetal localization [Mowry, K. L. & Melton, D. A. (1992) Science 255, 991-994]. To understand how cis- and trails-acting factors are involved in Vg1 mRNA localization, we have looked for specific interactions in vitro between oocyte proteins and Vg1 mRNA. S100 extracts of late-stage oocytes contain a protein-binding activity that protects specific regions of labeled Vg1 mRNA from degradation by RNase T1. The use of different regions of Vg1 RNA in competition reactions reveals two binding sites, both in the first half of the 3′ untranslated region of Vg1 message. UV crosslinking predominantly labels a 69-kDa protein; saturation analysis and competitor studies indicate that this protein binds with a high affinity to the downstream site, which corresponds to the 340-nucleotide vegetal localization sequence. Binding to this region is inhibited by another vegetally localized message, transforming growth factor β5 but is not inhibited by an animally localized RNA, An2. These data indicate that vegetally localized mRNAs share a binding motif that helps them achieve their intracellular distribution through specific RNA-protein interactions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)11895-11899
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume89
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1992

Keywords

  • Cytoplasmic mRNA localization
  • Oocyte
  • UV crosslinking
  • Vg1 mRNA

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