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Development. 1994 Apr;120(4):1017-25.

Microtubule and chromatin behavior follow MAP kinase activity but not MPF activity during meiosis in mouse oocytes.

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Département de Biologie du Développement, Institut Jacques Monod, CNRS-Université Paris VII, France.


Oocyte meiotic maturation is triggered by different stimuli (hormones, unknown signals through cell interactions) in different species. These stimuli indirectly lead to the activation of a major cell cycle regulating activity, the maturation promoting factor (MPF). Other factors, such as the product of the proto-oncogene c-mos or enzymes of the MAP kinase family, are also involved in the process of maturation. MAP kinase activation occurs during meiotic maturation in oocytes from different species with different kinetics. The relationships between MPF activation and MAP kinase activation have been well studied in species such as clam and Xenopus. In this paper, we study the precise timing of MAP kinase activation (as measured by phosphorylation of exogenous myelin basic protein and shifts in mobility of ERK 1 and ERK 2) versus MPF activation (as measured by phosphorylation of exogenous histone H1) during mouse oocyte maturation and, in parallel, morphological events such as changes in microtubule organization and chromatin condensation. We observed that MAP kinase activation was delayed after MPF activation and that this activity persisted throughout maturation whereas MPF activity dropped between the two meiotic metaphases. After parthenogenetic activation of ovulated eggs, MAP kinase inactivation was very slow compared to MPF inactivation. During the first mitotic cell cycle, a rise in myelin basic protein kinase activity at M-phase was observed but it was not related to MAP kinase activation. Furthermore, microtubules and chromatin remained in a metaphase-like state during the complete period of maturation (including the period between the two meiotic metaphases) and a few hours after activation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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