The cytoplasmic distribution and characterization of poly(A)+ RNA in oocytes and embryos of Drosophila

Janice A. Lovett, Elliott S. Goldstein

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Using the presence of poly(A) tracts as a marker for mRNA, we have examined the distribution of this class of RNA between polysomes and free RNP particles. This has been done in mature oocytes and in embryos aged for various times from fertilization through to hatching of a larva. The proportion of ribosomes that are in polysomes to those that are not has been calculated. In mature oocytes, 58% of the poly(A)+ RNA and 72% of the ribosomes are not in polysomes. By 1 hr, this drops to 51% of the poly(A)+ RNA and 48% of the ribosomes. By 7 hr, a plateau is reached: 30% of each are not in polysomes. The poly(A)+ RNA in the cytoplasm of oocytes and 1-hr embryos is found in particles with an average size of 50S and a range of 30-70S. The poly(A)+ RNA ranges in size from 7 to 40S, with an average size of 22S. The polyA from this RNA is 50-200 nucleotides long with an average of 115 nucleotides. These data have allowed us to calculate that 1-2% of the total RNA is poly(A)+ RNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-78
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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