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INTRODUCTION The frog oocyte contains a pool of maternally derived mRNA

The frog oocyte contains a pool of maternally derived mRNA
transcripts that are stored as nontranslated ribonucleoproteins.
Translational recruitment of masked mRNAs provides a means
for rapid gene expression during early embryonic development
in the frog and a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate species
(Davidson, 1986). Since transcription of embryonic genes does
not begin until after the 4,000-cell mid-blastula stage (Newport
and Kirschner, 1982), critical steps in frog embryogenesis
depend on temporal and spatial translational control of key
maternal genes. At various points in development, beginning
with meiotic maturation, maternal transcripts are recruited for
translation (reviewed by Richter, 1991). Translational regula-
tion of maternal mRNAs involved in embryonic patterning is
now clearly established in organisms, such as Drosophila and
Caenorhabditis elegans, that rely on a maternal pool of mRNA
to carry out early developmental events (Evans et al., 1994;
Gavis and Lehmann, 1994). The mechanisms employed and
the specificity involved in the regulation of these mRNAs are
poorly understood.


Source: Amaya, Enrique - Healing Foundation Centre & Developmental Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester


Collections: Biology and Medicine