Maternal Pumilio acts together with Nanos in germline development in Drosophila embryos

Nat Cell Biol. 1999 Nov;1(7):431-7. doi: 10.1038/15666.


The maternal RNA-binding proteins Pumilio (Pum) and Nanos (Nos) act together to specify the abdomen in Drosophila embryos. Both proteins later accumulate in pole cells, the germline progenitors. Nos is required for pole cells to differentiate into functional germline. Here we show that Pum is also essential for germline development in embryos. First, a mutation in pum causes a defect in pole-cell migration into the gonads. Second, in such pole cells, the expression of a germline-specific marker (PZ198) is initiated prematurely. Finally, pum mutation causes premature mitosis in the migrating pole cells. We show that Pum inhibits pole-cell division by repressing translation of cyclin B messenger RNA. As these phenotypes are indistinguishable from those produced by nos mutation, we conclude that Pum acts together with Nos to regulate these germline-specific events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Transplantation
  • Cyclin B / genetics
  • Cyclin B / metabolism*
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Female
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Insect Proteins / genetics
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Morphogenesis
  • Phenotype
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • CycB protein, Drosophila
  • Cyclin B
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Histones
  • Insect Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • pum protein, Drosophila
  • nos protein, Drosophila