Joint action of two RNA degradation pathways controls the timing of maternal transcript elimination at the midblastula transition in Drosophila melanogaster

Arash Bashirullah, Susan R. Halsell, Ramona L. Cooperstock, Malgorzata Kloc, Angelo Karaiskakis, William W. Fisher, Fu Weili, Jill K. Hamilton, Laurence D. Etkin, Howard D. Lipshitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

158 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maternally synthesized RNAs program early embryonic development in many animals. These RNAs are degraded rapidly by the midblastula transition (MBT), allowing genetic control of development to pass to zygotically synthesized transcripts. Here we show that in the early embryo of Drosophila melanognster there are two independent RNA degradation pathways, either of which is sufficient for transcript elimination. However, only the concerted action of both pathways leads to elimination of transcripts with the correct timing, at the MET. The first pathway is maternally encoded, is targeted to specific classes of mRNAs through cis-acting elements in the 3'-untranslated region and is conserved in Xenopus laevis. The second pathway is activated 2 h after fertilization and functions together with the maternal pathway to ensure that transcripts are degraded by the MBT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2610-2620
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 1999

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Localization
  • Midblastula transition (MBT)
  • Stability
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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