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J Cell Biochem. 2001 Apr 2-27;82(1):89-97.

Calcium oscillations in Xenopus egg cycling extracts.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Biosignal Research Center, Kobe University, Nada, Kobe 657-8501, Japan.


Cell cycle in various types of cells and in early embryos is often accompanied by transient changes in the concentration of free cytosolic calcium. In the present study, using fluorescent indicator fura-2, we demonstrate that Ca(2+) oscillates cyclically with an amplitude of about 100 nM and a period of mitotic cycle in cell-free Xenopus egg cycling extracts. It peaks in early metaphase just preceding mitotic reactivation of Cdc2 kinase and MAPK and reaches a minimum in interphase. The source of Ca(2+) in the extracts is a particulate fraction containing egg intracellular Ca(2+) stores, since the addition of a calcium-mobilizing second messenger, inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3), induced a transient increase in Ca(2+). The inclusion of heparin, an IP3 receptor antagonist, or ultrafiltration of the extracts prevented Ca(2+)-releasing activity of IP3. The depletion of Ca(2+) in the extracts by the calcium chelator BAPTA resulted in the blockade of cell cycle at different stages, depending on the time of drug administration. The addition of BAPTA late in interphase blocked cell cycle at mitotic entry in prophase, whereas its application in anaphase or telophase blocked the extracts in early interphase. BAPTA administration in metaphase before transition to anaphase brought about a metaphase-like arrest in the cycling extracts. Inhibition of IP3-induced calcium release by heparin also arrested cell cycle progression in the cycling extracts.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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