Transient localizations of messenger RNA in Xenopus laevis oocytes

David G. Capco, William R. Jeffery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The distribution of poly(A)-containing RNA [poly(A)+ RNA] was examined in sections of oocytes, mature eggs, and early embryos of Xenopus laevis by in situ hybridization with [3H]poly(U). Poly(A)+ RNA was uniformly distributed in the cytoplasm of previtellogenic oocytes. In contrast, distinct cytoplasmic regions exhibiting high concentrations of poly(A)+ RNA were detected in vitellogenic and full-grown oocytes. These regions include a perinuclear area located between the germinal vesicle (GV) and the cortex of stage 3 oocytes, a cortical area in stage 4 oocytes, a vegetal subcortical area and a subnuclear zone in stage 5 oocytes, and a vegetal subcortical area in stage 6 oocytes. No selective accumulations of poly(A)+ RNA were observed in the mitochondrial mass of previtellogenic oocytes or in the GV at any time during oogenesis. The poly(A)+ RNA localizations in the peripheral regions of full-grown oocytes disappeared during the first maturation division leading to a uniform poly(A)+ RNA distribution in the mature egg and did not reappear during early embryogenesis. The results suggest that transient localizations of poly(A)+ RNA are present in the oocyte cytoplasm during oogenesis of Xenopus laevis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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