Asymmetric distribution of messenger RNAs is a widespread mechanism to localize synthesis of specific protein to distinct sites in the cell. Although not proven yet there is considerable evidence that mRNA localisation is an active process that depends on the activity of cytoskeletal motor proteins. To date, the only motor protein with a specific role in mRNA localisation is the budding yeast type V myosin Myo4p. Myo4p is required for the localisation of ASH1 mRNA, encoding a transcriptional repressor that is essential for differential expression of the HO gene and mating type switching in budding yeast. Mutations in Myo4p, in proteins of the actin cytoskeleton, and in four other specific genes, SHE2-SHE5 disrupt the daughter-specific localisation of ASH1 mRNA. In order to understand if Myo4p is directly participating in mRNA transport, we used in situ colocalisation and coprecipitation of Myo4p and ASH1 mRNA to test for their interaction. Our results indicate an association of Myo4p and ASH1 mRNA that depends on the activity of two other genes involved in ASH1 mRNA localisation, SHE2 and SHE3. This strongly suggests a direct role of Myo4p myosin as a transporter of localised mRNAs, convincingly supporting the concept of motor-protein based mRNA localisation.
- © 1999 by Company of Biologists