Following the completion of oogenesis and oocyte maturation, histone mRNAs are synthesized and stored in the sea urchin egg pronucleus. Histone mRNAs are the only mRNAs that are not polyadenylated but instead end in a stem-loop which has been conserved in evolution. The 3′ end binds the stem-loop-binding protein (SLBP), and SLBP is required for histone pre-mRNA processing as well as translation of the histone mRNAs. A cDNA encoding a 59 kDa sea urchin SLBP (suSLBP) has been cloned from an oocyte cDNA library. The suSLBP contains an RNA-binding domain that is similar to the RNA-binding domain found in SLBPs from other species, although there is no similarity between the rest of the suSLBP and other SLBPs. The suSLBP is present at constant levels in eggs and for the first 12 h of development. The levels of suSLBP then decline and remain at a low level for the rest of embryogenesis. The suSLBP is concentrated in the egg pronucleus and is released from the nucleus only when cells enter the first mitosis. SuSLBP expressed by in vitro translation does not bind the stem-loop RNA, suggesting that suSLBP is modified to activate RNA binding in sea urchin embryos.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Nucleic Acids Research|
|State||Published - 2004|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Dr Hemant Kelkar of the UNC Bioinformatics Center for assistance in the sea urchin genome analysis. This work was supported by NIH grants GM58961 to W.F.M. and F32GM20151 to B.J.S., and by the Stowers Foundation for Medical Research (J.A.C.).
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