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Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase in human eggs has been investigated by using immunoblotting with both anti-Active MAPK and anti-ERK2 antibodies. The results showed that the main form of MAP kinase was p42ERK2. It was in a dephosphorylated form in oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage, but fully phosphorylated in unfertilised mature eggs. MAP kinase phosphorylation was significantly decreased when pronuclei were formed after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Neither MAP kinase expression nor activity was detected in morphologically degenerated eggs. Although MAP kinase still existed in early embryos arrested at the 8-cell or morula stages, little, if any, activity could be detected. These data suggest that MAP kinase may play an important role in the cell cycle regulation of human eggs, as in other mammalian species.
The role of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase in mouse egg activation induced by protein kinase inhibitors and a protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) inhibitor was investigated. Separated egg proteins were first probed with anti-Active MAP kinase antibody and then re-probed with anti-ERK2 antibody. Staurosporine and Ro-31-8220, at concentrations that normally inhibit protein kinase C, did not affect egg activation or MAP kinase activity, while higher dosages caused egg activation. Staurosporine at 2 μM induced the metaphase–interphase transition without emission of the second polar body (PB2), while Ro-31-8220 at 40 μM induced PB2 emission, first cleavage, and then the transition to interphase. Half the eggs were also activated by the PTK inhibitor genistein. In each treatment, the proportion of eggs that entered interphase was well correlated with the degree of MAP kinase inactivation. Artificial activation of this kinase by okadaic acid overcame the interphase transition. These data suggest that protein kinase inhibitors and a protein tyrosine kinase inhibitor induce the interphase transition by inactivating MAP kinase in mouse eggs.
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