Homo_sapiensFamily: zf-nanos Number of Genes: 3
Ensembl IDSymbolEntrez IDRBD RBPome PRIExpresion PathwayPhenotype ParalogOrthologGO



This family consists of several conserved novel zinc finger domains found in the eukaryotic proteins Nanos and Xcat-2. In Drosophila melanogaster, Nanos functions as a localised determinant of posterior pattern. Nanos RNA is localised to the posterior pole of the maturing egg cell and encodes a protein that emanates from this localised source. Nanos acts as a translational repressor and thereby establishes a gradient of the morphogen Hunchback [1]. Xcat-2 is found in the vegetal cortical region and is inherited by the vegetal blasomeres during development, and is degraded very early in development. The localised and maternally restricted expression of Xcat-2 RNA suggests a role for its protein in setting up regional differences in gene expression that occur early in development [2].


Nanos is a highly conserved RNA-binding protein in higher eukaryotes and functions as a key regulatory protein in translational control using a 3'untranslated region during the development and maintenance of germ cells. Nanos comprises a non-conserved amino-terminus and highly conserved carboxy-terminal regions. The C-terminal region has two conserved Cys-Cys-His-Cys (CCHC)-type zinc-finger motifs that are indispensable for nanos function [PUBMED:8223259, PUBMED:10518502, PUBMED:20948543].


  1. Curtis D, Apfeld J, Lehmann R; , Development 1995;121:1899-1910.: nanos is an evolutionarily conserved organizer of anterior-posterior polarity. PUBMED:7601003 EPMC:7601003 .

  2. Mosquera L, Forristall C, Zhou Y, King ML; , Development 1993;117:377-386.: A mRNA localized to the vegetal cortex of Xenopus oocytes encodes a protein with a nanos-like zinc finger domain. PUBMED:8223259 EPMC:8223259 .

  3. Lall S, Ludwig MZ, Patel NH; , Curr Biol 2003;13:224-229.: Nanos Plays a Conserved Role in Axial Patterning outside of the Diptera. PUBMED:12573218 EPMC:12573218.