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Two conserved regulatory cytoplasmic poly(A) polymerases, GLD-4 and GLD-2, regulate meiotic progression in C. elegans

By Mark Schmid, Beate Küchler and Christian R. Eckmann


Translational regulation is heavily employed during developmental processes to control the timely accumulation of proteins independently of gene transcription. In particular, mRNA poly(A) tail metabolism in the cytoplasm is a key determinant for balancing an mRNA's translational output and its decay rate. Noncanonical poly(A) polymerases (PAPs), such as germline development defective-2 (GLD-2), can mediate poly(A) tail extension. Little is known about the regulation and functional complexity of cytoplasmic PAPs. Here we report the discovery of Caenorhabditis elegans GLD-4, a cytoplasmic PAP present in P granules that is orthologous to Trf4/5p from budding yeast. GLD-4 enzymatic activity is enhanced by its interaction with GLS-1, a protein associated with the RNA-binding protein GLD-3. GLD-4 is predominantly expressed in germ cells, and its activity is essential for early meiotic progression of male and female gametes in the absence of GLD-2. For commitment into female meiosis, both PAPs converge on at least one common target mRNA—i.e., gld-1 mRNA—and, as a consequence, counteract the repressive action of two PUF proteins and the putative deadenylase CCR-4. Together our findings suggest that two different cytoplasmic PAPs stabilize and translationally activate several meiotic mRNAs to provide a strong fail-safe mechanism for early meiotic progression

Topics: Research Paper
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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