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EMBO J. 1994 May 15;13(10):2399-410.

Suppression of DNA replication via Mos function during meiotic divisions in Xenopus oocytes.

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Division of Molecular Genetics, Kurume University, Fukuoka, Japan.


Meiosis is characterized by the absence of DNA replication between the two successive divisions. In Xenopus eggs, the ability to replicate DNA develops during meiotic maturation, but is normally suppressed until fertilization. Here we show that development of the DNA-replicating ability depends on new protein synthesis during meiosis I, and that mere ablation of the endogenous c-mos product Mos allows maturing oocytes to enter interphase and replicate DNA just after meiosis I. Moreover, we demonstrate that during normal maturation cdc2 kinase undergoes precocious inactivation in meiosis I and then premature reactivation before meiosis II; importantly, this premature cdc2 reactivation absolutely requires Mos function and its direct inhibition by a dominant-negative cdc2 mutant also results in nuclear reformation and DNA replication immediately after meiosis I. These findings indicate that suppression of DNA replication during meiotic divisions in Xenopus oocytes is accomplished by the Mos-mediated premature reactivation of cdc2 kinase. We suggest that these mechanisms for suppressing DNA replication may be specific for meiosis in animal oocytes, and that the ultimate biological function, including the well known cytostatic factor activity, of Mos during meiotic maturation may be to prevent undesirable DNA replication or parthenogenetic activation before fertilization.

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