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Gene Review

nos  -  nanos

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG5637, DRONANOS, Dmel\CG5637, Dronanos, NANOS, ...
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High impact information on nos

  • We show that nos- germ cells are unable to attenuate the cell cycle and instead continue dividing [1].
  • Supporting the conclusion that Sxl is an important target for nos repression, ectopic, premature expression of Sxl protein in germ cells disrupts migration and stimulates mitotic activity [1].
  • It has previously been shown that germ cells in embryos derived from nos mutant mothers do not migrate to the primitive gonad and prematurely express several germline-specific markers [1].
  • Novel functions of nanos in downregulating mitosis and transcription during the development of the Drosophila germline [1].
  • These and other observations suggest that pum acts by recognizing the NRE and then recruiting nos [2].

Biological context of nos

  • These nos response elements (NREs) are both necessary and sufficient to confer nos-dependent regulation, the degree of regulation determined by the number and quality of the elements and the level of nos in vivo [3].
  • As these phenotypes are indistinguishable from those produced by nos mutation, we conclude that Pum acts together with Nos to regulate these germline-specific events [4].
  • In this report, we show that Nos interacts with Cup, which is required for normal development of the ovarian germline cells. nos and cup also interact genetically--reducing the level of cup activity specifically suppresses the oogenesis defects associated with the nos(RC) allele [5].
  • Analogous to their function in body patterning, nos and pum require each other to control dendrite morphogenesis, a process likely to involve translational regulation of nos itself [6].
  • This maternally provided Nanos protein is present in germ cells throughout embryogenesis [7].

Anatomical context of nos

  • Here we show that maternally deposited Nanos protein is essential for germ cell migration [7].
  • Nanos and Pumilio have critical roles in the development and function of Drosophila germline stem cells [7].
  • To avoid inappropriate activation of nos, osk activity must appear only at the posterior pole of the oocyte, where the osk mRNA becomes localized during oogenesis [8].
  • We used sucrose density gradient sedimentation to ascertain whether unlocalized nos mRNA is excluded from polysomes and therefore repressed during translational initiation [9].
  • The loss of germline stem cells in nos mutant mothers appears to be due to a progressive degeneration of the plasma membrane [10].

Physical interactions of nos

  • In this report we use protein-protein and protein-RNA interaction assays in yeast and in vitro to show that Nanos forms a ternary complex with the RNA-binding domain of Pumilio and the NRE [11].
  • We show that Oskar prevents the rapid deadenylation of nanos mRNA by precluding its binding to Smaug, thus leading to its stabilization and translation [12].
  • In this report, we show that Pumilio and Nanos bind to an element in the 3' UTR to repress Cyclin B mRNA [13].

Regulatory relationships of nos

  • When active inappropriately at the anterior pole, nos can also block expression of the anterior determinant bicoid (bcd) [3].
  • To determine if nanos activity represses translation by altering the polyadenylation state of hunchback mRNA, we injected various in vitro transcribed RNAs into Drosophila embryos and determined changes in polyadenylation [14].
  • smaug protein represses translation of unlocalized nanos mRNA in the Drosophila embryo [15].
  • The nanos translational control element represses translation in somatic cells by a Bearded box-like motif [16].

Other interactions of nos

  • Based on these and other results, we argue that nos acts as a morphogen, controlling hb expression (and hence abdominal pattern) as a function of its concentration-dependent interaction with the NREs [3].
  • While orthologs of Drosophila bicoid and nanos play a conserved role in anteroposterior (AP) patterning within at least a subset of Diptera, conservation of this process has not yet been demonstrated outside of the flies [17].
  • In the absence of nanos high levels of Hb protein repress the abdomen-specific genes knirps and giant [18].
  • This protection of Hsp83 RNA occurs in wild-type embryos and embryos produced by females carrying the maternal effect mutations nanos and pumilio, which eliminate components of the posterior polar plasm without disrupting polar granule integrity [19].
  • We have previously reported that nos is required to keep the Sex-lethal establishment promoter, Sxl-Pe, off in the germline of both sexes [20].
  • Rumpelstiltskin associates with nanos mRNA in vitro and in vivo, and binding by Rumpelstiltskin correlates with localization element function in vivo [21].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of nos

  • We used cytoplasmic transplantation assays to demonstrate that nanos activity is found in posterior poleplasm of five diverse Dipteran species [22].
  • Developmental northern blots show that Hro-nos, like nanos, is a maternal transcript that decays rapidly during early development [23].


  1. Novel functions of nanos in downregulating mitosis and transcription during the development of the Drosophila germline. Deshpande, G., Calhoun, G., Yanowitz, J.L., Schedl, P.D. Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Binding of pumilio to maternal hunchback mRNA is required for posterior patterning in Drosophila embryos. Murata, Y., Wharton, R.P. Cell (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. RNA regulatory elements mediate control of Drosophila body pattern by the posterior morphogen nanos. Wharton, R.P., Struhl, G. Cell (1991) [Pubmed]
  4. Maternal Pumilio acts together with Nanos in germline development in Drosophila embryos. Asaoka-Taguchi, M., Yamada, M., Nakamura, A., Hanyu, K., Kobayashi, S. Nat. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Nanos interacts with cup in the female germline of Drosophila. Verrotti, A.C., Wharton, R.P. Development (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Nanos and Pumilio are essential for dendrite morphogenesis in Drosophila peripheral neurons. Ye, B., Petritsch, C., Clark, I.E., Gavis, E.R., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N. Curr. Biol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Nanos and Pumilio have critical roles in the development and function of Drosophila germline stem cells. Forbes, A., Lehmann, R. Development (1998) [Pubmed]
  8. Translational regulation of oskar mRNA by bruno, an ovarian RNA-binding protein, is essential. Kim-Ha, J., Kerr, K., Macdonald, P.M. Cell (1995) [Pubmed]
  9. Synthesis of the posterior determinant Nanos is spatially restricted by a novel cotranslational regulatory mechanism. Clark, I.E., Wyckoff, D., Gavis, E.R. Curr. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. The posterior determinant gene nanos is required for the maintenance of the adult germline stem cells during Drosophila oogenesis. Bhat, K.M. Genetics (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Recruitment of Nanos to hunchback mRNA by Pumilio. Sonoda, J., Wharton, R.P. Genes Dev. (1999) [Pubmed]
  12. Oskar allows nanos mRNA translation in Drosophila embryos by preventing its deadenylation by Smaug/CCR4. Zaessinger, S., Busseau, I., Simonelig, M. Development (2006) [Pubmed]
  13. Translational control of maternal Cyclin B mRNA by Nanos in the Drosophila germline. Kadyrova, L.Y., Habara, Y., Lee, T.H., Wharton, R.P. Development (2007) [Pubmed]
  14. Nanos and pumilio establish embryonic polarity in Drosophila by promoting posterior deadenylation of hunchback mRNA. Wreden, C., Verrotti, A.C., Schisa, J.A., Lieberfarb, M.E., Strickland, S. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
  15. smaug protein represses translation of unlocalized nanos mRNA in the Drosophila embryo. Smibert, C.A., Wilson, J.E., Kerr, K., Macdonald, P.M. Genes Dev. (1996) [Pubmed]
  16. The nanos translational control element represses translation in somatic cells by a Bearded box-like motif. Duchow, H.K., Brechbiel, J.L., Chatterjee, S., Gavis, E.R. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  17. Nanos plays a conserved role in axial patterning outside of the Diptera. Lall, S., Ludwig, M.Z., Patel, N.H. Curr. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  18. A role of polycomb group genes in the regulation of gap gene expression in Drosophila. Pelegri, F., Lehmann, R. Genetics (1994) [Pubmed]
  19. Dynamic Hsp83 RNA localization during Drosophila oogenesis and embryogenesis. Ding, D., Parkhurst, S.M., Halsell, S.R., Lipshitz, H.D. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  20. Nanos downregulates transcription and modulates CTD phosphorylation in the soma of early Drosophila embryos. Deshpande, G., Calhoun, G., Jinks, T.M., Polydorides, A.D., Schedl, P. Mech. Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
  21. The Drosophila hnRNP M homolog Rumpelstiltskin regulates nanos mRNA localization. Jain, R.A., Gavis, E.R. Development (2008) [Pubmed]
  22. nanos is an evolutionarily conserved organizer of anterior-posterior polarity. Curtis, D., Apfeld, J., Lehmann, R. Development (1995) [Pubmed]
  23. A nanos homolog in leech. Pilon, M., Weisblat, D.A. Development (1997) [Pubmed]
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