The egalitarian binding partners dynein light chain and bicaudal-D act sequentially to link mRNA to the dynein motor

Chandler H. Goldman, Hannah Neiswender, Rajalakshmi Veeranan-Karmegam, Graydon B. Gonsalvez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A conserved mechanism of polarity establishment is the localization of mRNA to specific cellular regions. Although it is clear that many mRNAs are transported along microtubules, much less is known about the mechanism by which these mRNAs are linked to microtubule motors. The RNA binding protein Egalitarian (Egl) is necessary for localization of several mRNAs in Drosophila oocytes and embryos. Egl also interacts with Dynein light chain (Dlc) and Bicaudal-D (BicD). The role of Dlc and BicD in mRNA localization has remained elusive. Both proteins are required for oocyte specification, as is Egl. Null alleles in these genes result in an oogenesis block. In this report, we used an shRNA-depletion strategy to overcome the oogenesis block. Our findings reveal that the primary function of Dlc is to promote Egl dimerization. Loss of dimerization compromises the ability of Egl to bind RNA. Consequently, Egl is not bound to cargo, and is not able to efficiently associate with BicD and the Dynein motor. Our results therefore identify the key molecular steps required for assembling a localization-competent mRNP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev176529
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019



  • Cargo adaptor
  • Cell polarity
  • Drosophila
  • Kinesin
  • Molecular motor
  • RNA localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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