Mowry KL, Melton DA. 1992. Vegetal messenger RNA localization directed by a 340-nt RNA sequence element in Xenopus oocytes. Science (New York, N.Y.). 255(5047):991-4. Pubmed: 1546297


Contained within a single cell, the fertilized egg, is information that will ultimately specify the entire organism. During early embryonic cleavages, cells acquire distinct fates and their differences in developmental potential might be explained by localization of informational molecules in the egg. The mechanisms by which Vg1 RNA, a maternal mRNA, is translocated to the vegetal pole of Xenopus oocytes may indicate how developmental signals are localized. Data presented here show that a 340-nucleotide localization signal present in the 3' untranslated region of Vg1 RNA is sufficient to direct RNA localization to the vegetal pole.

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Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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