Subcellular localization and Egl-mediated transport of telomeric retrotransposon HeT-A ribonucleoprotein particles in the Drosophila germline and early embryogenesis

Kordyukova M., Morgunova V., Olovnikov I., Komarov P.A., Mironova A., Olenkina O.M., Kalmykova A.

В журнале PLOS ONE

Год: 2018 Том: 13 Номер: 8 ArticleID: e0201787

The study of the telomeric complex in oogenesis and early development is important for understanding the mechanisms which maintain genome integrity. Telomeric transcripts are the key components of the telomeric complex and are essential for regulation of telomere function. We study the biogenesis of transcripts generated by the major Drosophila telomere repeat HeT-A in oogenesis and early development with disrupted telomeric repeat silencing. In wild type ovaries, HeT-A expression is downregulated by the Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). By repressing piRNA pathway, we show that overexpressed HeT-A transcripts interact with their product, RNA-binding protein Gag-HeT-A, forming ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs) during oogenesis and early embryonic development. Moreover, during early stages of oogenesis, in the nuclei of dividing cystoblasts, HeT-A RNP form spherical structures, which supposedly represent the retrotransposition complexes participating in telomere elongation. During the later stages of oogenesis, abundant HeT-A RNP are detected in the cytoplasm and nuclei of the nurse cells, as well as in the cytoplasm of the oocyte. Further on, we demonstrate that HeT-Aproducts co-localize with the transporter protein Egalitarian (Egl) both in wild type ovaries and upon piRNA loss. This finding suggests a role of Egl in the transportation of the HeT-A RNP to the oocyte using a dynein motor. Following germline piRNA depletion, abundant maternal HeT-A RNP interacts with Egl resulting in ectopic accumulation of Egl close to the centrosomes during the syncytial stage of embryogenesis. Given the essential role of Egl in the proper localization of numerous patterning mRNAs, we suggest that its abnormal localization likely leads to impaired embryonic axis specification typical for piRNA pathway mutants.

DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0201787

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