Motoring RNA

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Science  24 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5461, pp. 2117
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5461.2117g

The polarized expression of proteins is essential for the establishment of patterning within the Drosophila embryo. Bicoid (Bcd) is a protein whose gradient specifies the anterior pattern of the fly embryo. The gradient of Bcd protein is generated by anterior localization of the bcd messenger RNA. This RNA is localized early in embryogenesis and requires the expression of a gene called swallow (swa).

Schnorrer et al. have found that Swa protein, which contains an RNA-binding domain, interacts directly with the molecular motor dynein. They propose that microtubule-dependent transport of bcd RNA by a complex of Swa and dynein serves to localize this RNA at the anterior pole of the oocyte.—SMH

Nature Cell Biol.2,185 (2000).

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