Xenopus Xpat protein is a major component of germ plasm and may function in its organisation and positioning

Rachel J. Machado, Wendy Moore, Richard Hames, Evelyn Houliston, Patrick Chang, Mary Lou L King, Hugh R. Woodland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In many animals, including Drosophila, C. elegans, zebrafish and Xenopus, the germ line is specified by maternal determinants localised in a distinct cytoplasmic structure called the germ plasm. This is consists of dense granules, mitochondria, and specific localised RNAs. We have characterised the expression and properties of the protein encoded by Xpat, an RNA localised to the germ plasm of Xenopus. Immunofluorescence and immunoblotting showed that this novel protein is itself a major constituent of germ plasm throughout oogenesis and early development, although it is also present in other regions of oocytes and embryos, including their nuclei. We found that an Xpat-GFP fusion protein can localise correctly in cultured oocytes, in early oocytes to the 'mitochondrial cloud', from which germ plasm originates, and in later oocytes to the vegetal cortex. The localisation process was microtubule-dependent, while cortical anchoring required microfilaments. Xpat-GFP expressed in late stage oocytes assembled into circular fields of multi-particulate structures resembling endogenous fields of germ plasm islands. Furthermore these structures could be induced to form at ectopic sites by manipulation of culture conditions. Ectopic Xpat-GFP islands were able to recruit mitochondria, a major germ plasm component. These data suggest that Xpat protein has an important role in Xenopus germ plasm formation, positioning and maintenance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-300
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume287
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2005

Fingerprint

Oocytes
Xenopus
Islands
Mitochondria
Proteins
RNA
Cytoplasmic Structures
Oogenesis
Zebrafish
Actin Cytoskeleton
Immunoblotting
Germ Cells
Microtubules
Drosophila
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Embryonic Structures
Maintenance
Mothers
Xenopus Xpat protein

Keywords

  • Germ line
  • Germ plasm
  • Microtubules
  • Mitochondrial cloud
  • Oocyte
  • Xenopus
  • Xpat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

Cite this

Machado, R. J., Moore, W., Hames, R., Houliston, E., Chang, P., King, M. L. L., & Woodland, H. R. (2005). Xenopus Xpat protein is a major component of germ plasm and may function in its organisation and positioning. Developmental Biology, 287(2), 289-300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.08.044

Xenopus Xpat protein is a major component of germ plasm and may function in its organisation and positioning. / Machado, Rachel J.; Moore, Wendy; Hames, Richard; Houliston, Evelyn; Chang, Patrick; King, Mary Lou L; Woodland, Hugh R.

In: Developmental Biology, Vol. 287, No. 2, 15.11.2005, p. 289-300.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Machado, RJ, Moore, W, Hames, R, Houliston, E, Chang, P, King, MLL & Woodland, HR 2005, 'Xenopus Xpat protein is a major component of germ plasm and may function in its organisation and positioning', Developmental Biology, vol. 287, no. 2, pp. 289-300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.08.044
Machado, Rachel J. ; Moore, Wendy ; Hames, Richard ; Houliston, Evelyn ; Chang, Patrick ; King, Mary Lou L ; Woodland, Hugh R. / Xenopus Xpat protein is a major component of germ plasm and may function in its organisation and positioning. In: Developmental Biology. 2005 ; Vol. 287, No. 2. pp. 289-300.
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