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Localization of vasa, a component of Drosophila polar granules, in maternal-effect mutants that alter embryonic anteroposterior polarity

Hay, Bruce and Jan, Lily Yeh and Jan, Yuh Nung (1990) Localization of vasa, a component of Drosophila polar granules, in maternal-effect mutants that alter embryonic anteroposterior polarity. Development, 109 (2). pp. 425-433. ISSN 0950-1991.

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Cytoplasm at the posterior pole of the early Drosophila embryo, known as polar plasm, serves as a source of information necessary for germ cell determination and for specification of the abdominal region. Likely candidates for cytoplasmic elements important in one or both of these processes are polar granules, organelles concentrated in the cortical cytoplasm of the posterior pole. Females homozygous for any one of the maternal-effect mutations, tudor, oskar, staufen, vasa, or valois give rise to embryos that lack localized polar granules, fail to form the germ cell lineage and have abdominal segment deletions. Using antibodies against a polar granule component, the vasa protein, we find that vasa synthesis or localization is affected by these mutations. In vasa mutants, synthesis of vasa protein is absent or severely restricted. In oskar and staufen mutant females, vasa synthesis appears normal, but the vasa protein is not localized. In tudor and valois mutant females, vasa is localized to the posterior pole of oocytes, but this localization is lost following egg activation. In addition to the posterior localized vasa, there is a low level of vasa distributed throughout the embryo. A function for this distributed vasa is postulated based on the observation that embryos from Bicaudal-D mothers, in which abdominal determinants are incorrectly localized to the anterior pole, do not show any ectopic vasa localization, though abdomen development at the anterior end depends on the amount of vasa protein in the embryo.

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Additional Information:© 1990 by Company of Biologists. (Accepted 2 March 1990) We would like to thank Trudi Schüpbach for providing stocks of vasa (vasaPD23 and vasaDL), tudor (tudorWC8), a deficiency that uncovers the tudor locus (Df(2L) PL3), staufen (staufen L54), a deficiency that uncovers the staufen locus (Df(2L) PC4), valois (valoisRB), and a deficiency that uncovers the valois locus (Df(2L)TW2), Robert Boswell for providing stocks of tudor (tudor2, tudor3, tudor4), and Ruth Lehmann for stocks of the two deficiencies Df(2L)A267 and Df(2L)TE116-GW18, which in heterozygous combination delete part of the vasa locus, staufen (staufenD3), oskar (oskar166, oskar336, oskar301), a deficiency that uncovers the oskar locus, stocks of valois (valoisPE), and stocks of Bicaudal-D (Bicaudal-D7134, Bicaudal-DIIIE). We also thank Robert Caretto for help with some of the antibody stainings, and Larry Ackerman and Tina Chueng for their help with the photography and artwork. B.H. is supported by an NIH training grant and L.Y.J. and Y.N.J. are Howard Hughes Investigators.
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:vasa, polar granules, maternal-effect mutants, cytoplasmic determinants
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HAYdev90
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12196
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:28 Oct 2008 22:32
Last Modified:21 Apr 2020 19:06

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