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Genes Dev 1997 Sep 01;1117:2176-90. doi: 10.1101/gad.11.17.2176.
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The KH domain protein encoded by quaking functions as a dimer and is essential for notochord development in Xenopus embryos.

Mutations in the mouse indicate that quaking gene function is essential for both embryogenesis and for development of the nervous system. Recent isolation of the mouse quaking gene identified a putative RNA-binding protein containing a single KH domain. We have previously isolated the Xenopus homolog of quaking, Xqua, and shown that the sequence is highly conserved through evolution. Here, we report experimental data on the biochemical function of the quaking protein and its role during development. We demonstrate that the quaking protein expressed during early embryogenesis, pXqua357, can bind RNA in vitro, and we have mapped the regions of the protein that are essential for RNA binding. We present evidence that pXqua can form homodimers and that dimerization may be required for RNA binding. Oocyte injection experiments show that pXqua357 is located in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. In the Xenopus embryo, Xqua is first expressed during gastrulation in the organizer region and its derivative, the notochord. In later stage embryos, Xqua is expressed in a number of mesodermal and neural tissues. We demonstrate that disruption of normal Xqua function, by overexpression of a dominant inhibitory form of the protein, blocks notochord differentiation. Xqua function appears to be required for the accumulation of important mRNAs such as Xnot, Xbra, and gsc. These results indicate an essential role for the quaking RNA-binding protein during early vertebrate embryogenesis.

PubMed ID: 9303534
PMC ID: PMC275400
Article link: Genes Dev
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: gal.2 gsc ncam1 not qki tbxt

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Bartoszewicz, Abnormal expression and glycosylation of the large and small isoforms of myelin-associated glycoprotein in dysmyelinating quaking mutants. 1995, Pubmed