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Localization of Xenopus Vg1 mRNA by Vera Protein and the Endoplasmic Reticulum

Science  16 May 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5315, pp. 1128-1131
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5315.1128

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Abstract

In many organisms, pattern formation in the embryo develops from the polarized distributions of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) in the egg. InXenopus, the mRNA encoding Vg1, a growth factor involved in mesoderm induction, is localized to the vegetal cortex of oocytes. A protein named Vera was shown to be involved in Vg1 mRNA localization. Vera cofractionates with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, and endogenous Vg1 mRNA is associated with a subcompartment of the ER. Vera may promote mRNA localization in Xenopus oocytes by mediating an interaction between the Vg1 3′ untranslated region and the ER subcompartment.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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