An anterior function for the Drosophila posterior determinant Pumilio.

Development (Cambridge, England)

PubMedID: 12015297

Gamberi C, Peterson DS, He L, Gottlieb E. An anterior function for the Drosophila posterior determinant Pumilio. Development. 2002;129(11):2699-710.
Bicoid is a key determinant of anterior Drosophila development. We demonstrate that the prototypical Puf protein Pumilio temporally regulates bicoid (bcd) mRNA translation via evolutionarily conserved Nanos response elements (NRE) in its 3'UTR. Disruption of Pumilio-bcd mRNA interaction by either Pumilio or bcd NRE mutations caused delayed bcd mRNA deadenylation and stabilization, resulting in protracted Bicoid protein expression during embryogenesis. Phenotypically, embryos from transgenic mothers that harbor bcd NRE mutations exhibited dominant anterior patterning defects and we discovered similar head defects in embryos from pum(-) mothers. Hence, Pumilio is required for normal anterior development. Since bcd mRNA resides outside the posterior gradient of the canonical partner of Pumilio, Nanos, our data suggest that Pumilio can recruit different partners to specifically regulate distinct mRNAs.