The role of microtubule motors in mRNA localization and patterning within the Drosophila oocyte

Chandler H. Goldman, Graydon B. Gonsalvez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

11 Scopus citations


Messenger RNA (mRNA) localization is a powerful and prevalent mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation, enabling the cell to produce protein at the exact location at which it is needed. The phenomenon of mRNA localization has been observed in many types of cells in organisms ranging from yeast to man. Thus, the process appears to be widespread and highly conserved. Several model systems have been used to understand the mechanism by which mRNAs are localized. One such model, and the focus of this chapter, is the egg chamber of the female Drosophila melanogaster. The polarity of the developing Drosophila oocyte and resulting embryo relies on the specific localization of three critical mRNAs: gurken, bicoid, and oskar. If these mRNAs are not localized during oogenesis, the resulting progeny will not survive. The study of these mRNAs has served as a model for understanding the general mechanisms by which mRNAs are sorted. In this chapter, we will discuss how the localization of these mRNAs enables polarity establishment. We will also discuss the role of motor proteins in the localization pathway. Finally, we will consider potential mechanisms by which mRNAs can be anchored at their site of localization. It is likely that the lessons learned using the Drosophila oocyte model system will be applicable to mRNAs that are localized in other organisms as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)0080-1844
ISSN (Electronic)1861-0412

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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