New Insights into the Regulation of RNP Granule Assembly in Oocytes

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In a variety of cell types in plants, animals, and fungi, ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes play critical roles in regulating RNA metabolism. These RNP granules include processing bodies and stress granules that are found broadly across cell types, as well as RNP granules unique to the germline, such as P granules, polar granules, sponge bodies, and germinal granules. This review focuses on RNP granules localized in oocytes of the major model systems, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, Xenopus, mouse, and zebrafish. The signature families of proteins within oocyte RNPs include Vasa and other RNA-binding proteins, decapping activators and enzymes, Argonaute family proteins, and translation initiation complex proteins. This review describes the many recent insights into the dynamics and functions of RNP granules, including their roles in mRNA degradation, mRNA localization, translational regulation, and fertility. The roles of the cytoskeleton and cell organelles in regulating RNP granule assembly are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages57
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameInternational Review of Cell and Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1937-6448


  • Germ granules
  • Oocytes
  • P bodies
  • P granules
  • Polar granules
  • RNP granules
  • Sponge bodies
  • Translational regulation


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