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Neural-specific elongation of 3' UTRs during Drosophila development

TitleNeural-specific elongation of 3' UTRs during Drosophila development
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHilgers, V., M. W. Perry, D. Hendrix, A. Stark, M. Levine, and B. Haley
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pagination15864 - 15869
Date Published09/2011

The 3' termini of eukaryotic mRNAs influence transcript stability, translation efficiency, and subcellular localization. Here we report that a subset of developmental regulatory genes, enriched in critical RNA-processing factors, exhibits synchronous lengthening of their 3' UTRs during embryogenesis. The resulting UTRs are up to 20-fold longer than those found on typical Drosophila mRNAs. The large mRNAs emerge shortly after the onset of zygotic transcription, with several of these genes acquiring additional, phased UTR extensions later in embryogenesis. We show that these extended 3' UTR sequences are selectively expressed in neural tissues and contain putative recognition motifs for the translational repressor, Pumilio, which also exhibits the 3' lengthening phenomenon documented in this study. These findings suggest a previously unknown mode of posttranscriptional regulation that may contribute to the complexity of neurogenesis or neural function.

Short TitleProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences