The Drosophila hnRNP M homolog Rumpelstiltskin regulates nanos mRNA localization

Roshan A. Jain, Elizabeth R. Gavis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Anterior-posterior axis patterning of the Drosophila embryo requires Nanos activity selectively in the posterior. This spatial asymmetry of Nanos is generated by the localization of nanos mRNA to the posterior pole of the embryo, where it is subsequently translated. Posterior localization of nanos is mediated by a complex cis-acting localization signal in its 3′ untranslated region comprising several partially redundant localization elements. This localization signal redundancy has hampered the identification of trans-acting factors that act specifically to effect posterior localization of nanos. Here, we have used a biochemical approach to identify Rumpelstiltskin, a Drosophila heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) M homolog, which binds directly to an individual nanos localization element. Rumpelstiltskin associates with nanos mRNA in vitro and in vivo, and binding by Rumpelstiltskin correlates with localization element function in vivo. Through analysis of a rumpelstiltskin null mutation by genetic strategies that circumvent redundancy, we demonstrate that Rumpelstiltskin regulates anterior-posterior axis patterning by functioning as a direct-acting nanos mRNA localization factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-982
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


  • Drosophila
  • Nanos
  • hnRNP
  • mRNA localization


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