The maternally localized RNA fatvg is required for cortical rotation and germ cell formation

Agnes P. Chan, Malgorzata Kloc, Carolyn A. Larabell, Mark LeGros, Laurence D. Etkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Fatvg is a localized maternal transcript that translocates to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus laevis oocytes through both the METRO and Late RNA localization pathways. It is a member of a gene family that functions in vesicular trafficking. Depletion of the maternal store of fatvg mRNA results in a dual phenotype in which embryos are ventralized and also lack primordial germ cells. This complex fatvg loss of function phenotype is the result of stabilization of the dorsalizing factor β-catenin at the vegetal pole and the inability of the germ cell determinants to move to their proper locations. This is coincident with the inhibition of cortical rotation and the abnormal aggregation of the germ plasm. Fatvg protein is located at the periphery of vesicles in the oocyte and embryo, supporting its proposed role in vesicular trafficking in the embryo. These results point to a common fundamental mechanism that is regulated by fatvg through which germ cell determinants and dorsalizing factors segregate during early development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-363
Number of pages14
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Antisense oligonucleotide depletion
  • Axis specification
  • Host transfer
  • Oocytes
  • Primordial germ cell formation
  • Vegetally localized RNA
  • Xenopus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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