Translational regulation of the cell cycle: when, where, how and why?
Iva Kronja and Terry L. Orr-Weaver*
Whitehead Institute and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA
*Author for correspondence (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Translational regulation contributes to the control of archetypal and specialized cell cycles, such as the meiotic and early embryonic cycles. Late meiosis and early embryogenesis unfold in the absence of transcription, so they particularly rely on translational repression and activation of stored maternal mRNAs. Here, we present examples of cell cycle regulators that are translationally controlled during different cell cycle and developmental transitions in model organisms ranging from yeast to mouse. Our focus also is on the RNA-binding proteins that affect cell cycle progression by recognizing special features in untranslated regions of mRNAs. Recent research highlights the significance of the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB). CPEB determines polyadenylation status, and consequently translational efficiency, of its target mRNAs in both transcriptionally active somatic cells as well as in transcriptionally silent mature Xenopus oocytes and early embryos. We discuss the role of CPEB in mediating the translational timing and in some cases spindle-localized translation of critical regulators ofXenopus oogenesis and early embryogenesis. We conclude by outlining potential directions and approaches that may provide further insights into the translational control of the cell cycle.
cyclin–CDK, mitotic spindle, meiosis, oocyte, polyadenylation, cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein
One contribution of 16 to a Theme Issue ‘The cell cycle’.
This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society