The actin cytoskeleton is required for maintenance of posterior pole plasm components in the Drosophila embryo

Mech Dev. 1999 Jul;85(1-2):111-22. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(99)00096-9.


Localization of mRNAs is one of many aspects of cellular organization that requires the cytoskeleton. In Drosophila, microtubules are known to be required for correct localization of developmentally important mRNAs and proteins during oogenesis; however, the role of the actin cytoskeleton in localization is less clear. Furthermore, it is not known whether either of these cytoskeletal systems are necessary for maintenance of RNA localization in the early embryo. We have examined the contribution of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons to maintenance of RNA and protein localization in the early Drosophila embryo. We have found that while microtubules are not necessary, the actin cytoskeleton is needed for stable association of nanos, oskar, germ cell-less and cyclin B mRNAs and Oskar and Vasa proteins at the posterior pole in the early embryo. In contrast, bicoid RNA, which is located at the anterior pole, does not require either cytoskeletal system to remain at the anterior.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / physiology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Insect Proteins / physiology*
  • RNA / physiology*
  • RNA / ultrastructure


  • Actins
  • Insect Proteins
  • RNA