In Drosophila, the posterior deposition of oskar (osk) mRNA in the oocyte is
critical for pole cell and abdomen formation. Exon junction complex components,
translational regulation factors and other proteins form the RNP complex essential for
directing osk mRNA to the posterior end of the oocyte. Until now, it has not been
clear whether the mRNA degradation machinery is involved in regulating osk mRNA
deposition. Here we show that Drosophila decapping protein 1, dDcp1, a general
factor required for mRNA degradation, is also a novel component of the osk mRNP
complex essential for osk mRNA posterior deposition. During oogenesis, dDcp1 can
interact with Exuperantia (Exu) in an RNA-dependent manner while osk mRNA is not
yet set for degradation and is required for the proper localization of Exu, Ypsilon
Schachtel (Yps) and Oo18 RNA binding (Orb). Clearly, dDcp1 is required for an elaborate coupling of osk mRNA localization in the oocyte and its degradation in the embryo.
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