Modulation of F-actin dynamics by maternal Mid1ip1L controls germ plasm aggregation and furrow recruitment in the zebrafish embryo

Development. 2018 May 17;145(10):dev156596. doi: 10.1242/dev.156596.


During the early embryonic cell cycles, zebrafish germ plasm ribonucleoparticles (RNPs) gradually multimerize and become recruited to the forming furrows. RNPs multimerization occurs prior to and during furrow initiation, as forming aggregates move outward through their association with the tips of growing interphase astral microtubules. Germ plasm RNPs are also associated with short cortical F-actin. We show that, in embryos mutant for the cytoskeletal regulator mid1ip1l, germ plasm RNPs fail to become recruited to the furrow, accumulating instead at the periphery of the blastodisc. RNP aggregates are associated with zones of mid1ip1l-dependent cyclical local cortical F-actin network enrichments, as well as contractions at both the cortex and the contractile ring. F-actin inhibition in wild-type embryos mimics the RNP peripheral accumulation defect of mid1ip1l mutants. Our studies suggest that a common mechanism underlies distinct steps of germ plasm RNP segregation. At the cortex, this process attenuates microtubule-dependent outward RNP movement to retain RNPs in the blastodisc cortex and allow their recruitment to the furrows. F-actin network contraction likely also facilitates higher-order germ plasm RNP multimerization.

Keywords: Embryo; F-actin; Germ plasm; Microtubules; Mid1ip1L; Ribonucleoparticles; Zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Actins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blastodisc / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Protein Multimerization / physiology
  • Protein Transport / genetics
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Zebrafish / embryology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • mid1ip1l protein, zebrafish