A cup full of functions

RNA Biol. Oct-Dec 2005;2(4):125-8. doi: 10.4161/rna.2.4.2416. Epub 2005 Dec 14.


Data from different laboratories have recently indicated that Cup is a multi-functional protein acting both during Drosophila ovary development and early embryogenesis. Cup directly and/or indirectly affects the activity of different mRNAs and proteins to achieve a broad range of biological functions: (1) Cup interacts with Nanos to promote maintenance and survival of the female germ-line stem cells; (2) it binds eIF4E and 3'-UTR-bound factors to repress translation of oskar and nanos mRNAs; (3) it interacts genetically with eIF4E to control translation initiation during ovary development and growth; (4) it may play a role in the control of the phosphorylation status of eIF4E within the developing ovary; finally, (5) it possesses nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling properties thus pointing to a still uncharacterized function in the cell nucleus. A multi-disciplinary approach, ranging from genetics to proteomics, will be required to shed light on the diverse molecular mechanisms involving Cup and the growing family of its specific interactors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Female
  • Oogenesis / genetics
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Ovary / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • cup protein, Drosophila