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Biol Cell. 1998 Oct;90(6-7):519-30.

An indirect role for cyclin B-Cdc2 in inducing chromosome condensation in Xenopus egg extracts.

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Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, Faculty of Biosciences, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan.


We have studied the cytoplasmic mechanism that induces metaphase chromosome condensation in cell-free Xenopus egg extracts. To analyze the mechanism responsible for inducing chromosome condensation separately from those responsible for sperm chromatin remodeling and nuclear envelope disassembly, we used Xenopus sperm chromatin that had already been remodeled to nucleosomal chromatin by incubating demembranated sperm with egg extracts added with lysolecithin. We found that inhibition of cyclin B-Cdc2 with butyrolactone I abolished chromosome condensation of the remodeled sperm chromatin by M-phase egg extracts, but incubation of the chromatin with active cyclin B-Cdc2 alone did not induce chromosome condensation, indicating a requirement for cytoplasmic factor(s) in addition to cyclin B-Cdc2 for the induction of chromosome condensation. We further demonstrated that if the cyclin B-Cdc2-dependent phosphorylation state was protected against dephosphorylation by a preincubation of M-phase extracts with ATP-gamma-S, chromosome condensation and phosphorylation of chromosomal histone H1 occurred even when extracts were depleted of cyclin B-Cdc2 activity. The chromosome condensation seen in the absence of cyclin B-Cdc2 was completely inhibited with another protein kinase inhibitor, 6-dimethylaminopurine, implying that a protein kinase other than cyclin B-Cdc2 was involved in the induction of chromosome condensation. These results strongly suggest that a cyclin B-Cdc2-dependent protein kinase cascade is involved in inducing chromosome condensation and the phosphorylation of chromosomal histone H1.

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