Recognition and long-range interactions of a minimal nanos RNA localization signal element

S. E. Bergsten, T. Huang, S. Chatterjee, E. R. Gavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Localization of nanos (nos) mRNA to the germ plasm at the posterior pole of the Drosophila embryo is essential to activate nos translation and thereby generate abdominal segments. nos RNA localization is mediated by a large cis-acting localization signal composed of multiple, partially redundant elements within the nos 3′ untranslated region. We identify a protein of ∼75 kDa (p75) that interacts specifically with the nos +2′ localization signal element. We show that the function of this element can be delimited to a 41 nucleotide domain that is conserved between D. melanogaster and D. virilis, and confers near wild-type localization when present in three copies. Two small mutations within this domain eliminate both +2′ element localization function and p75 binding, consistent with a role for p75 in nos RNA localization. In the intact localization signal, the +2′ element collaborates with adjacent localization elements. We show that different +2′ element mutations not only abolish collaboration between the +2′ and adjacent +1 element but also produce long-range deleterious effects on localization signal function. Our results suggest that higher order structural interactions within the localization signal, which requires factors such as p75, are necessary for association of nos mRNA with the germ plasm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-435
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Drosophila
  • Germ plasm
  • Localization element
  • MRNA localization
  • Nanos
  • RNA


Dive into the research topics of 'Recognition and long-range interactions of a minimal nanos RNA localization signal element'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this