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Nat Commun 2022 Apr 20;131:2145. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-29855-8.
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Vasa nucleates asymmetric translation along the mitotic spindle during unequal cell divisions.

Fernandez-Nicolas A , Uchida A , Poon J , Yajima M .

mRNA translation on the spindle is hypothesized to be an essential strategy for the localized production of cell regulators. This mechanism may be important particularly in early embryonic cells, which have a large diffusion volume and that undergo rapid cell divisions. Evidence to test such a hypothesis has been, however, limited. Here, we use an embryo with both symmetric and asymmetric cell divisions and manipulate Vasa protein, an RNA-helicase, on the spindle in live sea urchin embryos. We learned that the spindle serves as a major site of translation and that protein synthesis within a single spindle can be unequal and help drive asymmetric cell divisions during embryogenesis. Recruiting Vasa to the ectopic sub-cellular region induced a new site of translation, disturbed asymmetric translation on the spindle, and changed the cell fate. Based on these observations, we conclude that Vasa functions in localized translation, which provides a spatiotemporal control in protein synthesis and is essential for rapidly developing embryonic cells.

PubMed ID: 35444184
PMC ID: PMC9021227
Article link: Nat Commun
Grant support: [+]

Antibodies: LOC548620 Ab2 phospho-rps6 Ab1 tubb1 Ab9
Morpholinos: ddx4 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions