Calcium-mediated inactivation of the MAP kinase pathway in sea urchin eggs at fertilization.

TitleCalcium-mediated inactivation of the MAP kinase pathway in sea urchin eggs at fertilization.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsKumano M, Carroll DJ, Denu JM, Foltz KR
JournalDev Biol
Date Published2001 Aug 1
KeywordsAnimals, Butadienes, Calcimycin, Calcium, Cell-Free System, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Enzyme Inhibitors, Female, Fertilization, Immunoblotting, Ionophores, Kinetics, Male, MAP Kinase Signaling System, Microscopy, Confocal, Nitriles, Phosphorylation, Sea Urchins, Time Factors

We have evaluated the regulation of a 43-kDa MAP kinase in sea urchin eggs. Both MAP kinase and MEK (MAP kinase kinase) are phosphorylated and active in unfertilized eggs while both are dephosphorylated and inactivated after fertilization, although with distinct kinetics. Reactivation of MEK or the 43-kDa MAP kinase prior to or during the first cell division was not detected. Confocal immunolocalization microscopy revealed that phosphorylated (active) MAP kinase is present primarily in the nucleus of the unfertilized egg, with some of the phosphorylated form in the cytoplasm as well. Incubation of unfertilized eggs in the MEK inhibitor U0126 (0.5 microM) resulted in the inactivation of MEK and MAP kinase within 30 min. Incubation in low concentrations of U0126 (sufficient to inactivate MEK and MAP kinase) after fertilization had no effect on progression through the embryonic cell cycle. Microinjection of active mammalian MAP kinase phosphatase (MKP-3) resulted in inactivation of MAP kinase in unfertilized eggs, as did addition of MKP-3 to lysates of unfertilized eggs. Incubation of unfertilized eggs in the Ca(2+) ionophore A23187 led to inactivation of MEK and MAP kinase with the same kinetics as observed with sperm-induced egg activation. This suggests that calcium may be deactivating MEK and/or activating a MAP kinase-directed phosphatase. A cell-free system was used to evaluate the activation of phosphatase separately from MEK inactivation. Unfertilized egg lysates were treated with U0126 to inactivate MEK and then Ca(2+) was added. This resulted in increased MAP kinase phosphatase activity. Therefore, MAP kinase inactivation at fertilization in sea urchin eggs likely is the result of a combination of MEK inactivation and phosphatase activation that are directly or indirectly responsive to Ca(2+).

Alternate JournalDev. Biol.
PubMed ID11456458