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Mech Dev. 2008 Nov-Dec;125(11-12):996-1008. doi: 10.1016/j.mod.2008.08.004. Epub 2008 Sep 3.

Involvement of Mos-MEK-MAPK pathway in cytostatic factor (CSF) arrest in eggs of the parthenogenetic insect, Athalia rosae.

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  • 1Invertebrate Gene Function Research Unit, Division of Insect Sciences, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Owashi, Tsukuba 305-8634, Japan.


Extensive survey of meiotic metaphase II arrest during oocyte maturation in vertebrates revealed that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway regulated by the c-mos proto-oncogene product, Mos, has an essential role in cytostatic activity, termed cytostatic factor (CSF). In contrast, little is known in invertebrates in which meiotic arrest occurs in most cases at metaphase I (MI arrest). A parthenogenetic insect, the sawfly Athalia rosae, in which artificial egg activation is practicable, has advantages to investigate the mechanisms of MI arrest. Both the MAPK/extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase kinase (MEK) and MAPK were phosphorylated and maintained active in MI-arrested sawfly eggs, whereas they were dephosphorylated soon after egg activation. Treatment of MI-arrested eggs with U0126, an inhibitor of MEK, resulted in dephosphorylation of MAPK and MI arrest was resumed. The sawfly c-mos gene orthologue encoding a serine/threonine kinase was cloned and analyzed. It was expressed in nurse cells in the ovaries. To examine CSF activity of the sawfly Mos, synthesized glutathione S-transferase (GST)-fusion sawfly Mos protein was injected into MI-resumed eggs in which MEK and MAPK were dephosphorylated. Both MEK and MAPK were phosphorylated again upon injection. In these GST-fusion sawfly Mos-injected eggs subsequent mitotic (syncytial) divisions were blocked and embryonic development was ceased. These results demonstrated that the MEK-MAPK pathway was involved in maintaining CSF arrest in sawfly eggs and Mos functioned as its upstream regulatory molecule.

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