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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology