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Biol Cell. 1998 Oct;90(6-7):509-18.

Overexpression of the cytoplasmic retention signal region of cyclin B2, but not of cyclin B1, inhibits bipolar spindle formation in Xenopus oocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Cyclin B, a regulatory subunit of maturation/M-phase promoting factor (MPF), has several subtypes in many vertebrate species. However, it is not known whether the different B-type cyclins have any different functions in vertebrate cells, although their subcellular localizations seem to differ largely from each other. To examine the roles of two major B-type cyclins, B1 and B2, in spindle formation in M phase, we overexpressed their N-termini in Xenopus oocytes; the N-termini of cyclins B1 and B2 contained a cytoplasmic retention signal (CRS), and hence their overexpressions were expected to competitively inhibit the subcellular localizations of the endogenous cyclins B1 and B2, respectively. Upon entry into meiosis I, oocytes overexpressing the cyclin B1 N-terminus formed an apparently normal bipolar spindle, but those oocytes overexpressing the cyclin B2 N-terminus formed a monopolar (or monoastral) spindle. This defect in bipolar spindle formation was observed only when the cyclin B2 N-terminus contained its own CRS sequence, and was able to be rescued by overexpression of full-length cyclin B2. These results suggest, for the first time, that the correct subcellular localization of cyclin B2, but not of cyclin B1, is essential for (the initiation of) bipolar spindle formation in Xenopus oocytes.

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