Translational Control of Germ Cell Decisions
Germline poses unique challenges to gene expression control at the transcriptional level. While the embryonic germline maintains a global hold on new mRNA transcription, the female adult germline produces transcripts that are not translated into proteins until embryogenesis of subsequent generation. As a consequence, translational control plays a central role in governing various germ cell decisions including the formation of primordial germ cells, self-renewal/differentiation decisions in the adult germline, onset of gametogenesis and oocyte maturation. Mechanistically, several common themes such as asymmetric localization of mRNAs, conserved RNA-binding proteins that control translation by 3′ UTR binding, translational activation by the cytoplasmic elongation of the polyA tail and the assembly of mRNA-protein complexes called mRNPs have emerged from the studies on Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus and Drosophila. How mRNPs assemble, what influences their dynamics, and how a particular 3′ UTR-binding protein turns on the translation of certain mRNAs while turning off other mRNAs at the same time and space are key challenges for future work.
- Arumugam K, MacNicol MC, Wang Y, Cragle CE, Tackett AJ, Hardy LL, MacNicol AM (2012b) Ringo/cyclin-dependent kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways regulate the activity of the cell fate determinant Musashi to promote cell cycle re-entry in Xenopus oocytes. J Biol Chem 287:10639–10649PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Millonigg S, Minasaki R, Nousch M, Eckmann CR (2014) GLD-4-mediated translational activation regulates the size of the proliferative germ cell pool in the adult C. elegans germ line. PLoS Genet 10:e1004647Google Scholar
- Nie K, Gomez M, Landgraf P, Garcia JF, Liu Y, Tan LH, Chadburn A, Tuschl T, Knowles DM, Tam W (2008) MicroRNA-mediated down-regulation of PRDM1/Blimp-1 in Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells: a potential pathogenetic lesion in Hodgkin lymphomas. Am J Pathol 173:242–252PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Priti A, Subramaniam K (2015) PUF-8 functions redundantly with GLD-1 to promote the meiotic progression of spermatocytes in Caenorhabditis elegans. G3 (Bethesda)Google Scholar
- Spike CA, Coetzee D, Eichten C, Wang X, Hansen D, Greenstein D (2014a) The TRIM-NHL protein LIN-41 and the OMA RNA-binding proteins antagonistically control the prophase-to-metaphase transition and growth of Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes. Genetics 198:1535–1558PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar