The 3′UTR of nanos2 directs enrichment in the germ cell lineage of the sea urchin

Article, Other literature type English OPEN
Oulhen, Nathalie ; Yoshida, Takaya ; Yajima, Mamiko ; Song, Jia L. ; Sakuma, Tetsushi ; Sakamoto, Naoaki ; Yamamoto, Takashi ; Wessel, Gary M. (2013)
  • Publisher: Elsevier BV
  • Journal: Developmental Biology, volume 377, issue 1, pages 275-283 (issn: 0012-1606)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.01.019
  • Subject: Molecular Biology | Cell Biology | Developmental Biology | Article

Nanos is a translational regulator required for the survival and maintenance of primordial germ cells during embryogenesis. Three nanos homologs are present in the genome of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Sp), and each nanos mRNA accumulates specifically in the small micromere (sMic) lineage. We found that a highly conserved element in the 3’ UTR of nanos2 is sufficient for reporter expression selectively in the sMic lineage: microinjection into a Sp fertilized egg of an RNA that contains the GFP open reading frame followed by Sp nanos2 3’UTR leads to selective reporter enrichment in the small micromeres in blastulae. The same result was seen with nanos2 from the sea urchin Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus (Hp). In both species, the 5’UTR alone is not sufficient for the sMic localization but it always increased the sMic reporter enrichment when present with the 3’UTR. We defined an element conserved between Hp and Sp in the nanos2 3’UTR which is necessary and sufficient for protein enrichment in the sMic, and refer to it as GNARLE (Global Nanos Associated RNA Lability Element). We also found that the nanos2 3’UTR is essential for the selective RNA retention in the small micromeres; GNARLE is required but not sufficient for this process. These results show that a combination of selective RNA retention and translational control mechanisms instills nanos accumulation uniquely in the sMic lineage.
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