We have examined cytoskeletal requirements for bicoid (bcd) RNA localization during Drosophila oogenesis. bcd is an anterior morphogen whose proper function relies on the localization of its messenger RNA to the anterior cortex of the egg. Drugs that depolymerize microtubules perturb all aspects of bcd RNA localization. During recovery from drug treatment, bcd RNA relocalizes to the oocyte cortex, suggesting that the localization machinery is a component of the cortical cytoskeleton. Taxol, a drug that stabilizes microtubules, also effectively disrupts bcd RNA localization, and the effects of taxol treatments on exuperantia and swallow mutants suggest general roles for these gene products in the multi-step bcd RNA localization process.

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