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Dev Biol. 2006 May 1;293(1):228-41. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Intracellular Ca2+ increase induces post-fertilization events via MAP kinase dephosphorylation in eggs of the hydrozoan jellyfish Cladonema pacificum.

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1
Department of Biology, Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0845, Japan.

Abstract

Naturally spawned eggs of the hydrozoan jellyfish Cladonema pacificum are arrested at G1-like pronuclear stage until fertilization. Fertilized eggs of Cladonema undergo a series of post-fertilization events, including loss of sperm-attracting ability, expression of adhesive materials on the egg surface, and initiation of cell cycle leading to DNA synthesis and cleavage. Here, we investigate whether these events are regulated by changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) activity in Cladonema eggs. We found that MAP kinase is maintained in the phosphorylated form in unfertilized eggs. Initiation of sperm-induced Ca2+ increase, which is the first sign of fertilization, was immediately followed by MAP kinase dephosphorylation within a few minutes of fertilization. The fertilized eggs typically stopped sperm attraction by an additional 5 min and became sticky around this time. They further underwent cytokinesis yielding 2-cell embryos at approximately 1 h post-fertilization, which was preceded by DNA synthesis evidenced by BrdU incorporation into the nuclei. Injection of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) into unfertilized eggs, which produced a Ca2+ increase similar to that seen at fertilization, triggered MAP kinase dephosphorylation and the above post-fertilization events without insemination. Conversely, injection of BAPTA/Ca2+ into fertilized eggs at approximately 10 s after the initiation of Ca2+ increase immediately lowered the elevating Ca2+ level and inhibited the subsequent post-fertilization events. Treatment with U0126, an inhibitor of MAP kinase kinase (MEK), triggered the post-fertilization events in unfertilized eggs, where MAP kinase dephosphorylation but not Ca2+ increase was generated. Conversely, preinjection of the glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein of MAP kinase kinase kinase (Mos), which maintained the phosphorylated state of MAP kinase, blocked the post-fertilization events in fertilized eggs without preventing a Ca2+ increase. These results strongly suggest that all of the three post-fertilization events, cessation of sperm attraction, expression of surface adhesion, and progression of cell cycle, lie downstream of MAP kinase dephosphorylation that is triggered by a Ca2+ increase.

PMID:
16530749
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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