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Identification of PNG kinase substrates uncovers interactions with the translational repressor TRAL in the oocyte-to-embryo transition.

eLife | Feb 26, 2018

The Drosophila Pan Gu (PNG) kinase complex regulates hundreds of maternal mRNAs that become translationally repressed or activated as the oocyte transitions to an embryo. In a previous paper (Hara et al., 2017), we demonstrated PNG activity is under tight developmental control and restricted to this transition. Here, examination of PNG specificity showed it to be a Thr-kinase yet lacking a clear phosphorylation site consensus sequence. An unbiased biochemical screen for PNG substrates identified the conserved translational repressor Trailer Hitch (TRAL). Phosphomimetic mutation of the PNG phospho-sites in TRAL reduced its ability to inhibit translation in vitro. In vivo, mutation of tral dominantly suppressed png mutants and restored Cyclin B protein levels. The repressor Pumilio (PUM) has the same relationship with PNG, and we also show that PUM is a PNG substrate. Furthermore, PNG can phosphorylate BICC and ME31B, repressors that bind TRAL in cytoplasmic RNPs. Therefore, PNG likely promotes translation at the oocyte-to-embryo transition by phosphorylating and inactivating translational repressors.

Pubmed ID: 29480805 RIS Download

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