The Maternal-Zygotic Transition: Death and Birth of RNAs

  title={The Maternal-Zygotic Transition: Death and Birth of RNAs},
  author={Alexander F. Schier},
  pages={406 - 407}
  • A. Schier
  • Published 20 April 2007
  • Biology
  • Science
Maternal gene products drive early development when the newly formed embryo is transcriptionally inactive. During the maternal-zygotic transition, embryonic transcription is initiated and many maternal RNAs are degraded. Multiple mechanisms regulate the birth of zygotic RNAs and the death of maternal RNAs. Genome activation appears to rely in part on the sequestration of transcriptional repressors by the exponentially increasing amount of DNA during cleavage divisions. Maternal RNA degradation… 

Post-translational regulation of the maternal-to-zygotic transition

Recent progress regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying post-translational regulation of maternal component degradation and ZGA during the MZT are summarized and some important issues in the field are discussed.

Contribution of transcription to animal early development

It is postulate that the balance between transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation during the oocyte-to-embryo transition may largely be determined by cell cycle length and thus the time available for the genome to be transcribed.

Regulation of the Oocyte-to-Zygote Transition

It is suggested that the meiotic machinery functions as an internal pacemaker that propels oocytes toward embryogenesis and regulates the many changes that accompany the oocyte-to-zygote transition.

Non-coding RNAs as regulators of embryogenesis

Two emerging themes for ncRNA function are described: promoting developmental transitions and maintaining developmental states, which highlight the roles of ncRNAs in ensuring a robust commitment to one of two possible cell fates.

The TATA-binding protein regulates maternal mRNA degradation and differential zygotic transcription in zebrafish

It is shown that a subset of polymerase II‐transcribed genes with ontogenic stage‐dependent regulation requires TBP for their zygotic activation, and core promoter recognition is implicate as an additional level of differential gene regulation during development.

An essential role for the RNA-binding protein Smaug during the Drosophila maternal-to-zygotic transition

It is shown that Smaug protein levels increase through the cleavage divisions and peak when the checkpoint is activated and zygotic transcription initiates, and that transgenic expression of Smaug in an anterior-to-posterior gradient produces a concomitant gradient in the timing of maternal transcript destruction, cleavage cell cycle delays, zygosis gene transcription, cellularization and gastrulation.

Development: The Maternal–Zygotic Transition Revisited

Regulation of mRNA decay by Pumilio in Drosophila melanogaster

This thesis focuses on an RNA-binding protein called Pumilio and its role in regulating the degradation of maternal mRNAs in Drosophila melanogaster embryos and produced transgenic flies expressing a conditional pumILio mutant genotype.

Mammalian zygotic genome activation.

  • P. Svoboda
  • Biology
    Seminars in cell & developmental biology
  • 2018

Maternal 3’UTRs: from egg to onset of zygotic transcription in Atlantic cod

BackgroundZygotic transcription in fish embryos initiates around the time of gastrulation, and all prior development is initiated and controlled by maternally derived messenger RNAs. Atlantic cod egg



Setting the stage for development: mRNA translation and stability during oocyte maturation and egg activation in Drosophila

  • Wael TadrosH. Lipshitz
  • Biology
    Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists
  • 2005
This review focuses on the mechanisms and functions of regulated maternal mRNA translation and stability in Drosophila—and compares these mechanisms with those elucidated in other animal models, particularly Xenopus—beginning late in oogenesis and continuing to the mid‐blastula transition, when developmental control is transferred to zygotically synthesized transcripts.

Activation of transcription in Drosophila embryos is a gradual process mediated by the nucleocytoplasmic ratio.

It is suggested that titration of transcription factors like ttk by the nucleocytoplasmic ratio triggers zygotic transcription in Drosophila.

Zebrafish MiR-430 Promotes Deadenylation and Clearance of Maternal mRNAs

Results suggest that miR-430 facilitates the deadenylation and clearance of maternal mRNAs during early embryogenesis, and directly regulates several hundred target messenger RNA molecules.

Kaiso is a genome-wide repressor of transcription that is essential for amphibian development

It is demonstrated that xKaiso, a novel methyl-CpG specific repressor protein, is required to maintain transcription silencing during early Xenopus laevis development and gene expression profiling is consistent with an essential role for x kaiso as a global repressor of methylated genes during early vertebrate development.

Reprogramming nuclei: insights from cloning, nuclear transfer and heterokaryons.

This work discusses the mechanisms involved in reprogramming nuclei after nuclear transfer and compares them with those that occur during remodeling of somaticuclei after heterokaryon formation.

β-Catenin/Tcf-regulated transcription prior to the midblastula transition

Evidence is presented that regulated transcription begins during early cleavage stages and that the β -catenin—Tcf complex is required for the transcription of the Xenopus nodal genes Xnr5 and Xnr6 as early as the 256-cell stage and that activation of Tcf after MBT cannot rescue ventralized embryos.

Transcriptome Analysis of Zebrafish Embryogenesis Using Microarrays

This study employed microarray analysis to study the temporal activity of developmentally regulated genes during zebrafish embryogenesis and revealed a highly dynamic transcriptional profile, including novel information on the temporal expression of several thousand previously uncharacterized genes.