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J Cell Sci Suppl 1989 Jan 01;12:129-44. doi: 10.1242/jcs.1989.supplement_12.11.
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Calcium-induced chromatin condensation and cyclin phosphorylation during chromatin condensation cycles in ammonia-activated sea urchin eggs.

Patel R , Twigg J , Crossley I , Golsteyn R , Whitaker M .

Ammonia-activated sea urchin eggs undergo repeated cycles of DNA synthesis, nuclear envelope breakdown (NEB) and chromatin condensation. No mitotic spindle forms, nor do the eggs undergo cytokinesis. Ammonia-activated eggs exhibit a form of the cell cycle in which the nuclear cycle proceeds without segregation of the chromatin into daughter cells. We discuss here experiments that demonstrate that intracellular free calcium concentration controls the S phase-M phase transition in ammonia-activated eggs, as it does in fertilized embryos. Cyclins are proteins that are synthesized throughout the cell cycle and destroyed abruptly during each round of chromatin condensation. We find that cycles of cyclin phosphorylation and destruction occur coincident with chromatin condensation in ammonia-activated eggs. Cyclin phosphorylation also occurs in eggs treated with the tumour promoter, phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). There is no accompanying NEB or chromatin condensation, however, and the nucleus is insensitive to exogenously-generated calcium transients. These latter data indicate that cyclin synthesis and phosphorylation is not a sufficient condition for calcium-induced NEB in sea urchin embryos. PMA must fail to induce one of the necessary cell cycle initiation signals. We suggest that the missing signal is the activation of the cell cycle control protein p34cdc2, which we have shown to be phosphorylated at fertilization and which is phosphorylated in ammonia-activated eggs.

PubMed ID: 2534555
Article link: J Cell Sci Suppl
Grant support: [+]

Genes referenced: LOC100887844 LOC115919910