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Terminal uridylyltransferases execute programmed clearance of maternal transcriptome in vertebrate embryos

Cited 68 time in Web of Science Cited 69 time in Scopus

Chang, Hyeshik; Yeo, Jinah; Kim, Jeong-gyun; Kim, Hyunjoon; Lim, Jaechul; Lee, Mihye; Kim, Hyun Ho; Ohk, Jiyeon; Jeon, Hee-Yeon; Lee, Hyunsook; Jung, Hosung; Kim, Kyu-Won; Kim, V. Narry

Issue Date
Cell Press
Molecular Cell, Vol.70 No.1, pp.72-82.e7
During the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT), maternal RNAs are actively degraded and replaced by newly synthesized zygotic transcripts in a highly coordinated manner. However, it remains largely unknown how maternal mRNA decay is triggered in early vertebrate embryos. Here, through genome-wide profiling of RNA abundance and 30 modification, we show that uridylation is induced at the onset of maternal mRNA clearance. The temporal control of uridylation is conserved in vertebrates. When the homologs of terminal uridylyltransferases TUT4 and TUT7 (TUT4/7) are depleted in zebrafish and Xenopus, maternal mRNA clearance is significantly delayed, leading to developmental defects during gastrulation. Short-tailed mRNAs are selectively uridylated by TUT4/7, with the highly uridylated transcripts degraded faster during the MZT than those with unmodified poly(A) tails. Our study demonstrates that uridylation plays a crucial role in timely mRNA degradation, thereby allowing the progression of early development.
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  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine
Research Area Extreme stress, Local glucocorticoids, Stress adaptation


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