Drosophila Dynein light chain (DDLC1) binds to gurken mRNA and is required for its localization

Inna Rom, Alice Faicevici, Orna Almog, F. Shira Neuman-Silberberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


During oogenesis in Drosophila, mRNAs encoding determinants required for the polarization of egg and embryo become localized in the oocyte in a spatially restricted manner. The TGF-alpha like signaling molecule Gurken has a central role in the polarization of both body axes and the corresponding mRNA displays a unique localization pattern, accumulating initially at the posterior and later at the anterior-dorsal of the oocyte. Correct localization of gurken RNA requires a number of cis-acting sequence elements, a complex of trans-acting proteins, of which only several have been identified, and the motor proteins Dynein and Kinesin, traveling along polarized microtubules. Here we report that the cytoplasmic Dynein-light-chain (DDLC1) which is the cargo-binding subunit of the Dynein motor protein, directly bound with high specificity and affinity to a 230-nucleotide region within the 3′UTR of gurken, making it the first Drosophila mRNA-cargo to directly bind to the DLC. Although DDLC1 lacks known RNA-binding motifs, comparison to double-stranded RNA-binding proteins suggested structural resemblance. Phenotypic analysis of ddlc1 mutants supports a role for DDLC1 in gurken RNA localization and anchoring as well as in correct positioning of the oocyte nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1526-1533
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2007


  • Drosophila
  • ddlc1
  • gurken
  • mRNA localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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