Translational control by cytoplasmic polyadenylation during Xenopus oocyte maturation: characterization of cis and trans elements and regulation by cyclin/MPF

EMBO J. 1990 Nov;9(11):3743-51.


The expression of certain maternal mRNAs during oocyte maturation is regulated by cytoplasmic polyadenylation. To understand this process, we have focused on a maternal mRNA from Xenopus termed G10. This mRNA is stored in the cytoplasm of stage 6 oocytes until maturation when the process of poly(A) elongation stimulates its translation. Deletion analysis of the 3' untranslated region of G10 RNA has revealed that two sequence elements, UUUUUUAU and AAUAAA were both necessary and sufficient for polyadenylation and polysomal recruitment. In this communication, we have defined the U-rich region that is optimal for polyadenylation as UUUUUUAUAAAG, henceforth referred to as the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element (CPE). We have also identified unique sequence requirements in the 3' terminus of the RNA that can modulate polyadenylation even in the presence of wild-type cis elements. A time course of cytoplasmic polyadenylation in vivo shows that it is an early event of maturation and that it requires protein synthesis within the first 15 min of exposure to progesterone. MPF and cyclin can both induce polyadenylation but, at least with respect to MPF, cannot obviate the requirement for protein synthesis. To identify factors that may be responsible for maturation-specific polyadenylation, we employed extracts from oocytes and unfertilized eggs, the latter of which correctly polyadenylates exogenously added RNA. UV crosslinking demonstrated that an 82 kd protein binds to the U-rich CPE in egg, but not oocyte, extracts. The data suggest that progesterone, either in addition to or through MPF/cyclin, induces the synthesis of a factor during very early maturation that stimulates polyadenylation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cyclins / physiology
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Poly A / metabolism*
  • Polyribosomes / metabolism
  • Progesterone / pharmacology
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Xenopus laevis / physiology*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Cyclins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Poly A
  • Progesterone
  • Cycloheximide
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor