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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Apr;11(4):1965-71.

Cell cycle tyrosine phosphorylation of p34cdc2 and a microtubule-associated protein kinase homolog in Xenopus oocytes and eggs.

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Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706.


We have examined the time course of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in the meiotic cell cycles of Xenopus laevis oocytes and the mitotic cell cycles of Xenopus eggs. We have identified two proteins that undergo marked changes in tyrosine phosphorylation during these processes: a 42-kDa protein related to mitogen-activated protein kinase or microtubule-associated protein-2 kinase (MAP kinase) and a 34-kDa protein identical or related to p34cdc2. p42 undergoes an abrupt increase in its tyrosine phosphorylation at the onset of meiosis 1 and remains tyrosine phosphorylated until 30 min after fertilization, at which point it is dephosphorylated. p42 also becomes tyrosine phosphorylated after microinjection of oocytes with partially purified M-phase-promoting factor, even in the presence of cycloheximide. These findings suggest that MAP kinase, previously implicated in the early responses of somatic cells to mitogens, is also activated at the onset of meiotic M phase and that MAP kinase can become tyrosine phosphorylated downstream from M-phase-promoting factor activation. We have also found that p34 goes through a cycle of tyrosine phosphorylation and dephosphorylation prior to meiosis 1 and mitosis 1 but is not detectable as a phosphotyrosyl protein during the 2nd through 12th mitotic cell cycles. It may be that the delay between assembly and activation of the cyclin-p34cdc2 complex that p34cdc2 tyrosine phosphorylation provides is not needed in cell cycles that lack G2 phases. Finally, an unidentified protein or group of proteins migrating at 100 to 116 kDa increase in tyrosine phosphorylation throughout maturation, are dephosphorylated or degraded within 10 min of fertilization, and appear to cycle between low-molecular-weight forms and high-molecular-weight forms during early embryogenesis.

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