Ooplasmic flow cooperates with transport and anchorage in Drosophila oocyte posterior determination

Wen Lu, Margot Lakonishok, Anna S. Serpinskaya, David Kirchenbüechler, Shuo Chien Ling, Vladimir I. Gelfand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The posterior determination of the Drosophila melanogaster embryo is defined by the posterior localization of oskar (osk) mRNA in the oocyte. Defects of its localization result in a lack of germ cells and failure of abdomen specification. A microtubule motor kinesin-1 is essential for osk mRNA posterior localization. Because kinesin-1 is required for two essential functions in the oocyte—transport along microtubules and cytoplasmic streaming—it is unclear how individual kinesin-1 activities contribute to the posterior determination. We examined Staufen, an RNA-binding protein that is colocalized with osk mRNA, as a proxy of posterior determination, and we used mutants that either inhibit kinesin-driven transport along microtubules or cytoplasmic streaming. We demonstrated that late-stage streaming is partially redundant with early-stage transport along microtubules for Staufen posterior localization. Additionally, an actin motor, myosin V, is required for the Staufen anchoring to the actin cortex. We propose a model whereby initial kinesin-driven transport, subsequent kinesin-driven streaming, and myosin V–based cortical retention cooperate in posterior determination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3497-3511
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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