Localization, anchoring and translational control of oskar, gurken, bicoid and nanos mRNA during Drosophila oogenesis

Fly (Austin). Jan-Mar 2009;3(1):15-28. doi: 10.4161/fly.3.1.7751. Epub 2009 Jan 2.


mRNA localization, and translation that is regulated spatially and temporally, are key mechanisms in the execution of polarized developmental programs. For over two decades, the Drosophila oocyte has served as a valuable model to study these mechanisms. Genetic and biochemical studies in flies have greatly contributed to the identification and understanding of factors that govern RNA localization and translational control. Embryonic axis formation is mediated through the subcellular localization and precise translational regulation of four key determinant mRNAs during oogenesis encoded by oskar, bicoid, gurken and nanos. In this review we aim to summarize recent insights into the mechanisms governing the asymmetric distribution and translation of these mRNAs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Cell Polarity
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Female
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Oogenesis / genetics*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / biosynthesis
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / biosynthesis
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha / genetics


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transforming Growth Factor alpha
  • bcd protein, Drosophila
  • grk protein, Drosophila
  • osk protein, Drosophila
  • nos protein, Drosophila