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New Biol. 1990 Oct;2(10):887-93.

Downregulation of the translation elongation factor 2 kinase in Xenopus laevis oocytes at the final stages of oogenesis.

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Institute of Protein Research, Academy of Sciences, Moscow Region, USSR.


Phosphorylation of translation elongation factor 2(eEF-2) by a specific Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent eEF-2 kinase plays an important role in the regulation of protein synthesis in mammalian cells. We show here that an eEF-2 kinase similar to the mammalian enzyme is present in tissues of the amphibian Xenopus laevis. We investigated changes in the activity of eEF-2 kinase in extracts of Xenopus oocytes at different stages of oogenesis. The eEF-2 kinase activity was constant from stage I to stage IV of oogenesis, but dramatically decreased after stage IV. Extracts of fully grown stage-VI oocytes showed no eEF-2 kinase activity. However, when extracts were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, eEF-2 was found to be present mostly, if not exclusively, in the dephosphorylated form throughout oogenesis. It is suggested that eEF-2 kinase disappears late in oogenesis to make protein synthesis insensitive to changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration. This may be important for the induction of meiotic maturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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