Sidova, M., Sindelka, R., Castoldi, M., Benes, V., Kubista, M. Intracellular microRNA profiles form in the Xenopus laevis oocyte that may contribute to asymmetric cell division. Scientific Reports, 5: 11157, 2015. doi: 10.1038/srep11157. eISSN 2045-2322.
Asymmetric distribution of fate determinants within cells is an essential biological strategy to prepare them for asymmetric division. In this work we measure the intracellular distribution of 12 maternal microRNAs (miRNA) along the animal-vegetal axis of the Xenopus laevisoocyte using qPCR tomography. We find the miRNAs have distinct intracellular profiles that resemble two out of the three profiles we previously observed for mRNAs. Our results suggest that miRNAs in addition to proteins and mRNAs may have asymmetric distribution within the oocyte and may contribute to asymmetric cell division as cell fate determinants.