Wada, T., Hara, M., Taneda, T., Qingfu, C., Takata, R., Moro, K., Takeda, K., Kishimoto, T., and Handa, H. (2012) Antisense morpholino targeting just upstream from a poly(A) tail junction of maternal mRNA removes the tail and inhibits translation. Nucleic acids research. 40(22):e173.
Gene downregulation by antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) is achieved by either hybridization around the translation
initiation codon or by targeting the splice donor site. In the present study, an antisense MO method is introduced that uses
a 25-mer MO against a region at least 40-nt upstream from a poly(A) tail junction in the 32-untranslated region (UTR) of maternal
mRNA. The MO removed the poly(A) tail and blocked zebrafish cdk9 (zcdk9) mRNA translation, showing functional mimicry between miRNA and MO. A PCR-based assay revealed MO-mediated specific poly(A)
tail removal of zebrafish mRNAs, including those for cyclin B1, cyclin B2 and tbp. The MO activity targeting cyclins A and B mRNAs was validated in unfertilized starfish oocytes and eggs. The MO removed the elongated poly(A) tail from maternal matured
mRNA. This antisense method introduces a new application for the targeted downregulation of maternal mRNAs in animal oocytes,
eggs and early embryos.