Clearance of Maternal RNAs: Not a Mummy’s Embryo Anymore

  • Antonio Marco
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1605)


Until the zygotic genome is activated, early development relies on the products deposited by the mother. Once the zygotic genome starts to be transcribed, most maternal products are not needed anymore by the developing embryo. This emancipation from the maternal genome occurs during the Zygotic Genome Activation (ZGA). Although the process by which the maternal content is replaced with zygotic products differs from species to species, there is a common theme to all of them: maternal transcripts are actively degraded. Here, a review of how the degradation of maternal RNAs is regulated during early development and discussions on some computational tools that may be of use in this research area are outlined.

Key words

RNA degradation Deadenylation RNA-binding proteins microRNAs Maternal-to-zygotic transition Zygotic genome activation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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