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Global characterization of the oocyte-to-embryo transition in Caenorhabditis elegans uncovers a novel mRNA clearance mechanism

Official URL:https://doi.org/10.15252/embj.201488769
PubMed:View item in PubMed
Creators Name:Stoeckius, M. and Gruen, D. and Kirchner, M. and Ayoub, S. and Torti, F. and Piano, F. and Herzog, M. and Selbach, M. and Rajewsky, N.
Journal Title:EMBO Journal
Journal Abbreviation:EMBO J
Volume:33
Number:16
Page Range:1751-1766
Date:18 August 2014
Keywords:Caenorhabditis elegans, Embryogenesis, Maternal mRNA, Oocyte-to-embryo Transition, Posttranscriptional Gene Regulation, Animals
Abstract:The oocyte-to-embryo transition (OET) is thought to be mainly driven by post-transcriptional gene regulation. However, expression of both RNAs and proteins during the OET has not been comprehensively assayed. Furthermore, specific molecular mechanisms that regulate gene expression during OET are largely unknown. Here, we quantify and analyze transcriptome-wide, expression of mRNAs and thousands of proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes, 1-cell, and 2-cell embryos. This represents a first comprehensive gene expression atlas during the OET in animals. We discovered a first wave of degradation in which thousands of mRNAs are cleared shortly after fertilization. Sequence analysis revealed a statistically highly significant presence of a polyC motif in the 3' untranslated regions of most of these degraded mRNAs. Transgenic reporter assays demonstrated that this polyC motif is required and sufficient for mRNA degradation after fertilization. We show that orthologs of human polyC-binding protein specifically bind this motif. Our data suggest a mechanism in which the polyC motif and binding partners direct degradation of maternal mRNAs. Our data also indicate that endogenous siRNAs but not miRNAs promote mRNA clearance during the OET.
ISSN:0261-4189
Publisher:EMBO Press (U.S.A.)
Item Type:Article

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