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Dev Biol. 1995 Apr;168(2):677-82.

Induction of Xenopus oocyte meiotic maturation by MAP kinase.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver 80262, USA.


Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is one of the protein kinases activated during meiotic maturation of Xenopus laevis oocytes. The c-Mosxe protein kinase, which has been shown to be sufficient to promote germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in meiosis I, can directly activate MAP kinase kinase in vitro and leads to the activation of MAPK in vivo. Recently we have shown that constitutively activated MAPK induces metaphase arrest when injected into one blastomere of a two-cell embryo. This arrest mimics the natural arrest of vertebrate unfertilized eggs in second meiotic metaphase due to cytostatic factor and c-Mosxe activity. We show here that microinjection of constitutively activated thiophosphorylated MAPK into resting oocytes is able to activate maturation-promoting factor (MPF) and promote GVBD. These results strongly support the hypothesis that MAPK plays an important role in the pathway that links c-Mosxe to the activation of MPF.

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