Publication Year



Biology, Xcat-2 homolog, xenopus, proteins


Biology | Cell and Developmental Biology | Life Sciences


Regional differences that are produced in oocytes and embryos are key to establishing the polarity that one sees in all living things. Dorsal-ventral and posterior-anterior axis formation are key moments in the development of any living thing. The primary mechanism by which this happens is the localization of proteins. A number of recent experiments seem to demonstrate that one major mechanism through which protein localization occurs is through the localization of mRNA in the oocyte. Xcat-2 is a Xenopus cytoskeletally associated transcript. It is also the localized mRNA which is the object of direct interest in this paper. To understand Xcat-2 one must first begin with a general discussion of localized mRNA's. After a general overview, the localization patterns of two very well understood mRNA's (Drosophila's bicoid and nanos) will be explained in more detail. The fact that nanos and Xcat-2 are closely related makes this discussion even more relevant. Then, the discussion will become focused on Xenopus, with a discussion of Vg1, another localized mRNA. Exploring the better understood Vg1, and the experiments which helped us understand it, will be very elucidating in the overall discussion of Xcat-2.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status