Yisraeli JK, Sokol S, Melton DA. 1990. A two-step model for the localization of maternal mRNA in Xenopus oocytes: involvement of microtubules and microfilaments in the translocation and anchoring of Vg1 mRNA. Development (Cambridge, England). 108(2):289-98. Pubmed: 2351071


In an effort to understand how polarity is established in Xenopus oocytes, we have analyzed the process of localization of the maternal mRNA, Vg1. In fully grown oocytes, Vg1 mRNA is tightly localized at the vegetal cortex. Biochemical fractionation shows that the mRNA is preferentially associated with a detergent-insoluble subcellular fraction. The use of cytoskeletal inhibitors suggests that (1) microtubules are involved in the translocation of the message to the vegetal hemisphere and (2) microfilaments are important for the anchoring of the message at the cortex. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry reveals that a cytoplasmic microtubule array exists during translocation. These results suggest a role for the cytoskeleton in localizing information in the oocyte.

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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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