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Extra resources for Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity (NAS Colloquium)
The maternal transcripts that are present in the early embryo can be subdivided into two classes according to whether they are destroyed before the MBT or are stable through this transition (reviewed in ref. 1). It is widely presumed—although there is little evidence that addresses this presumption—that degradation of certain maternal mRNAs is necessary so that the zygotically synthesized transcripts and proteins can take control of development at the MBT. To date, quantitative analyses of individual transcripts have been very limited.
To date, several degradation mutants have been identified, each of which is defective in aspects of egg activation per se. , if the egg is not activated normally, transcript degradation is not triggered). However, they also emphasize the need for larger scale maternal effect screens as well as screens that do not focus exclusively on maternal effect mutants, if mutations in the degradation machinery itself are to be obtained. Transcript protection at the posterior requires assembly of the posterior polar plasm and its constituent polar granules, which are a crucial component of this specialized cytoplasmic domain (9, 18).
It is possible to classify mRNA-binding proteins into three groups: those that are global and bind nearly all mRNAs without distinguishing unique sequences, the group-specific mRNA-binding proteins that associate with subsets of the global mRNA population, and those that are type-specific because they recognize a highly unique mRNA sequence, perhaps present in only one mRNA, with high specificity. We suggest that in some cases, the group-specific mRNA-binding proteins associate with multiple mRNAs that are structurally, and/or perhaps, functionally related.
Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity (NAS Colloquium) by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences