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Nature. 1991 Jan 17;349(6306):251-4.

In vitro effects on microtubule dynamics of purified Xenopus M phase-activated MAP kinase.

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Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The protein kinase MAP kinase, also called MAP2 kinase, is a serine/threonine kinase whose activation and phosphorylation are induced by a variety of mitogens, and which is thought to have a critical role in a network of protein kinases in mitogenic signal transduction. A burst in kinase activation and protein phosphorylation may also be important in triggering the dramatic reorganization of the cell during the transition from interphase to mitosis. The interphase-metaphase transition of microtubule arrays is under the control of p34cdc2 kinase, a central control element in the G2-M transition of the cell cycle. Here we show that a Xenopus kinase, closely related to the mitogen-activated mammalian MAP kinase, is phosphorylated and activated during M phase of meiotic and mitotic cell cycles, and that the interphase-metaphase transition of microtubule arrays can be induced by the addition of purified Xenopus M phase-activated MAP kinase or mammalian mitogen-activated MAP kinase to interphase extracts in vitro.

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