sea urchin embryos
Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The effects of 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) on the length of the cell cycle and on the state of phosphorylation of a putative intermediate filament protein, p117, have been studied in sea urchin embryos. Embryos were transferred into sea water containing 600 μM 6-DMAP at 0.5, 2 or 5 min after insemination, and incubated for 30 or 90 min. The effects of 6-DMAP on cell cycle length were studied by determining the time required for completion of mitosis upon return of the embryos in normal sea water. In all instances, except for the embryos transferred 0.5 min after insemination (AI) and incubated for 30 min, the duration of the M phase was shortened compared to controls, being faster in the embryos incubated for 90 minutes compared to the 30 min incubation period. However, embryos transferred 0.5 min AI have a longer M-phase than those transferred 2 minutes or later after fertilization, suggesting that between 0.5 and 2 min after fertilization, critical phosphorylating events occur which affect the commitment of the cells to enter M-phase.To study the pattern of p117 phosphorylation during the cell cycle, the eggs were transferred 2 minutes after fertilization in presence of 600 μM 6-DMAP and with 200 μCi/ml of 32P-orthophosphate. Analyses of 32P-labelled proteins after exposure of SDS-PAGE gels and their corresponding blots suggested that phosphorylation of p117 greatly increases at the time of pronuclear fusion, and then declines slightly at prophase-metaphase. This decrease is markedly enhanced when the cells are treated with 6-DMAP during metaphase in order to induce a premature breakdown of the mitotic apparatus. A causal link is suggested between the level of phosphorylation of p117 and its state of assembly. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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