Inscuteable and Staufen mediate asymmetric localization and segregation of prospero RNA during Drosophila neuroblast cell divisions

Cell. 1997 Aug 8;90(3):437-47. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)80504-8.


When neuroblasts divide, inscuteable acts to coordinate protein localization and mitotic spindle orientation, ensuring that asymmetrically localized determinants like Prospero partition into one progeny. staufen encodes a dsRNA-binding protein implicated in mRNA transport in oocytes. We demonstrate that prospero RNA is also asymmetrically localized and partitioned during neuroblast cell divisions, a process requiring both inscuteable and staufen. Inscuteable and Staufen interact and colocalize with prospero RNA on the apical cortex of interphase neuroblasts. Staufen binds prospero RNA in its 3'UTR. Our findings suggest that Inscuteable nucleates an apical complex and is required for protein localization, spindle orientation, and RNA localization. Stau, as one component of this complex, is required only for RNA localization. Hence staufen also acts zygotically, downstream of inscuteable, to effect aspects of neuroblast asymmetry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Division
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Female
  • Insect Hormones / physiology
  • Interphase
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nervous System / embryology
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neuropeptides / physiology
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prophase
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Telophase
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Hormones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • insc protein, Drosophila
  • pros protein, Drosophila
  • stau protein, Drosophila