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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (5)
Articles by James A. Gagnon in JoVE
Visualizing RNA Localization in Xenopus Oocytes
James A. Gagnon, Kimberly L. Mowry
Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry, Brown University
Visualization of in vivo RNA transport is accomplished by microinjection of fluorescently labeled RNA transcripts into Xenopus oocytes, followed by confocal microscopy.
Other articles by James A. Gagnon on PubMed
Molecular and Cellular Biology. Jan, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18039852
Transport of specific mRNAs to defined regions within the cell cytoplasm is a fundamental mechanism for regulating cell and developmental polarity. In the Xenopus oocyte, Vg1 RNA is transported to the vegetal cytoplasm, where localized expression of the encoded protein is critical for embryonic polarity. The Vg1 localization pathway is directed by interactions between key motifs within Vg1 RNA and protein factors recognizing those RNA sequences. We have investigated how RNA-protein interactions could be modulated to trigger distinct steps in the localization pathway and found that the Vg1 RNP is remodeled during cytoplasmic RNA transport. Our results implicate two RNA-binding proteins with key roles in Vg1 RNA localization, PTB/hnRNP I and Vg1RBP/vera, in this process. We show that PTB/hnRNP I is required for remodeling of the interaction between Vg1 RNA and Vg1RBP/vera. Critically, mutations that block this remodeling event also eliminate vegetal localization of the RNA, suggesting that RNP remodeling is required for localization.
Multiple Kinesin Motors Coordinate Cytoplasmic RNA Transport on a Subpopulation of Microtubules in Xenopus Oocytes
Developmental Cell. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18771961
RNA localization is a widely conserved mechanism for generating cellular asymmetry. In Xenopus oocytes, microtubule-dependent transport of RNAs to the vegetal cortex underlies germ layer patterning. Although kinesin motors have been implicated in this process, the apparent polarity of the microtubule cytoskeleton has pointed instead to roles for minus-end-directed motors. To resolve this issue, we have analyzed participation of kinesin motors in vegetal RNA transport and identified a direct role for Xenopus kinesin-1. Moreover, in vivo interference and biochemical experiments reveal a key function for multiple motors, specifically kinesin-1 and kinesin-2, and suggest that these motors may interact during transport. Critically, we have discovered a subpopulation of microtubules with plus ends at the vegetal cortex, supporting roles for these kinesin motors in vegetal RNA transport. These results provide a new mechanistic basis for understanding directed RNA transport within the cytoplasm.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21431735
Visualization of in vivo mRNA localization provides a tool for understanding steps in the mechanism of transport. Here we detail a method of fluorescently labeling mRNA transcripts and microinjecting them into Xenopus laevis oocytes followed with imaging by confocal microscopy. This technique overcomes a significant hurdle of imaging RNA in the frog oocyte while providing a rapid method of visualizing mRNA localization in high resolution.
Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21476929
RNA localization, the enrichment of RNA in a specific subcellular region, is a mechanism for the establishment and maintenance of cellular polarity in a variety of systems. Ultimately, this results in a universal method for spatially restricting gene expression. Although the consequences of RNA localization are well-appreciated, many of the mechanisms that are responsible for carrying out polarized transport remain elusive. Several recent studies have illuminated the roles that molecular motor proteins play in the process of RNA localization. These studies have revealed complex mechanisms in which the coordinated action of one or more motor proteins can act at different points in the localization process to direct RNAs to their final destination. In this review, we discuss recent findings from several different systems in an effort to clarify pathways and mechanisms that control the directed movement of RNA.