Mitogen-activated protein kinase regulates normal transition from metaphase to interphase following parthenogenetic activation in porcine oocytes
The decrease in maturation-promoting factor (MPF) activity precedes that in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity after egg activation, but the cellular functions of this delayed inactivation of MAPK are still unclear. The present study was conducted to examine the essential role of MAPK activity for supporting the transition from metaphase to interphase in porcine oocytes matured in vitro. The increases in the phosphorylated forms of MAPK and the activities of MAPK and histone H1 kinase (H1K) were shown in oocytes arrested at the metaphase II (MII) stage. After additional incubation of MII-arrested oocytes in medium with added U0126, a specific inhibitor of MAPK kinase, 24% of oocytes completed the second meiotic division and underwent entry into interphase with pronucleus (PN) formation, but not second polar body (PB-2) emission. The intensities of the phosphorylated forms of MAPK and the activities of MAPK and H1K in matured oocytes treated with U0126 were significantly decreased by the treatment with U0126. Electrostimulation to induce artificial activation caused both H1K and MAPK inactivation; the inactivation of H1K preceded the inactivation of MAPK and sustained high levels of MAPK activity were detected during the period of PB-2 emission. However, the time sequence required for MAPK inactivation was significantly reduced by the addition of U0126 to the culture medium following electrostimulation, resulting in the dramatic inactivation of MAPK distinct from that of H1K. In these oocytes, PB-2 emission was markedly inhibited but little difference was found in the time course of PN formation compared with oocytes not treated with U0126. These findings suggest that the decrease in MAPK activity is partly involved in driving matured oocytes out of metaphase to induce PN development, and that the delayed MAPK inactivation after the onset of MPF inactivation in activated oocytes has a crucial role for PB-2 emission to accomplish the transition from meiosis to mitosis.(Received June 5 2000)
(Accepted July 12 2000)
Key Words: Egg activation; MAP kinase; Pig oocyte; Pronuclear formation; Second polar body emission.
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