BBB seminar: Daniel St Johnston
The localisation of oskar and bicoid mRNAs to opposite poles of the Drosophila oocyte
Daniel St Johnston
The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
mRNA localisation is a common mechanism for targeting proteins to the subcellular regions where they are required. One particularly striking example is the Drosophila oocyte, where the localisation of bicoid, oskar and gurken mRNAs to three distinct positions within this very large cell defines the anterior-posterior and dorsal-ventral axes of the embryo. Through a combination of genetic and biochemical approaches, we have identified a number of proteins that are required for the posterior localisation of oskar mRNA. Our results suggest that the oskar mRNA transport complex assembles in a stepwise manner as the mRNA moves from its site of transcription through the nucleus into the cytoplasm, and that multiple RNA-binding proteins are necessary to couple the mRNA to the localisation machinery.
Host: Anni Vedeler, Department of Biomedicine
Prof. Daniel St Johnston is a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow and a Member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). During the last 15 years he has focused on studying the molecular mechanisms underlying the origin of anterior-posterior polarity and mRNA localisation in the Drosophila embryo. These studies have led to many important new discoveries for which he has been awarded the EMBO Gold Medal