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Cell. 1991 Jan 25;64(2):415-23.

INH, a negative regulator of MPF, is a form of protein phosphatase 2A.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0448.


MPF, a protein kinase complex consisting of cyclin and p34cdc2 subunits, promotes the G2 to M phase transition in eukaryotic cells. The pathway of activation and inactivation of MPF is not well understood, although there is strong evidence that removal of phosphate from a tyrosine residue on p34cdc2 is part of the activation process. INH was originally identified as an activity that could inhibit the posttranslational activation of a latent form of MPF, called pre-MPF, in immature (G2 phase-arrested) Xenopus oocytes. We have purified INH and demonstrated that it is a form of protein phosphatase 2A. Both INH and the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A can directly inactivate an isolated p34cdc2-cyclin complex. Both cyclin and p34cdc2 become dephosphorylated; the rate of inactivation closely parallels the removal of phosphate from a specific site on p34cdc2. We propose that INH opposes MPF activation by reversing this critical phosphorylation.

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