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The roles of DAZL in RNA biology and development

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RNA‐binding proteins play an important role in the regulation of gene expression by modulating translation and localization of specific messenger RNAs (mRNAs) during early development and gametogenesis. The DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia) family of proteins, which includes DAZ, DAZL, and BOULE, are germ cell‐specific RNA‐binding proteins that are implicated in translational regulation of several transcripts. Of particular importance is DAZL, which is present in vertebrates and arose from the duplication of the ancestral BOULE during evolution. Identification of DAZL target mRNAs and characterization of the RNA‐binding sequence through in vitro binding assays and crystallographic studies revealed that DAZL binds to GUU triplets in the 3′ untranslated region of target mRNAs. Although there is compelling evidence for the role of DAZL in translation stimulation of target mRNAs, recent studies indicate that DAZL can also function in translational repression and transport of specific mRNAs. Furthermore, apart from the well‐characterized function of DAZL in gametogenesis, recent data suggest its role in early embryonic development and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells toward functional gametes. In light of the mounting evidence for the role of DAZL in various cellular and developmental processes, we summarize the currently characterized biological functions of DAZL in RNA biology and development. WIREs RNA 2014, 5:527–535. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1228 This article is categorized under: RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Recognition RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > RNA–Protein Complexes RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications

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Protein interaction network of DAZL. Experimentally validated interaction proteins of DAZL were curated from the literature as well as from the STRING, a protein–protein interaction database (www. String‐db.org), and are represented as a network. DAZ family proteins with homodimerization ability were represented as two overlapping circles. DAZL interaction proteins associated with translation simulation are highlighted in transparent gold color, whereas interaction proteins associated with translation repression function are highlighted in transparent lavender color. The third group of interaction partners associated with transport is highlighted in transparent aqua color. Red lines indicate the validated interaction between human proteins, black lines indicate the interaction between mouse proteins, while blue and rose lines indicate the interaction between Xenopus and Drosophila proteins, respectively.
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RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > RNA–Protein Complexes
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Interactions: Functional Implications
RNA Interactions with Proteins and Other Molecules > Protein–RNA Recognition

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