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Title: Nuclear export and cytoplasmic localisation of mRNA in Drosophila melanogaster
Author: Wilkie, Gavin S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis defines the entire pathway of mRNA movement in Drosophila embryonic blastoderm nuclei, from intranuclear sites of synthesis to final sites of localisation in the cytoplasm. It shows that transcription of individual genes can take place in all parts of the nucleus and that genes are not significantly redistributed to new positions when they become active. Furthermore, mRNA export intermediates in the nucleus are evenly distributed, consistent with their movement occurring by unconstrained diffusion within the nucleoplasm. In order to identify proteins involved in intracellular mRNA transport, a genetic screen was designed to isolate mutations disrupting the correct cytoplasmic distribution of mRNA. It was designed to isolate mutations disrupting the correct cytoplasmic distribution of mRNA. It was found that small bristles is required for the nuclear export of mRNA in Drosophila, and that this gene encodes a homologue of the human and yeast nuclear mRNA export factors TAP/NXF1 and Mex67p, respectively. Finally, the localisation of pair-rule and wingless transcripts to the apical cytoplasm of Drosophila embryos is shown to occur by active transport of mRNA in the cytoplasm, rather than diffusion and anchoring or asymmetric nuclear export. Apical mRNA localisation is mediated by the transport of RNA particles to the minus ends of microtubules by the molecular motor cytoplasmic dynein. It is likely that these findings in Drosophila will be applicable to other organisms. There is evidence that mRNA moves through the nucleoplasm by diffusion in other systems, and the machinery of mRNA export appears to be conserved throughout evolution from yeast to humans. Dynein is involved in the transport of many different cytoplasmic cargoes and is a good candidate for the transport of mRNA in the oocyte and in other organisms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available