Maturation-activated protein-serine/threonine kinases were investigated in the high-speed supernatant fractions from sea-star oocytes harvested at the time of germinal vesicle breakdown. One of the major stimulated protein kinases able to phosphorylate acetyl-CoA carboxylase in these extracts was found to co-purify with a 44 kDa myelin basic protein kinase (p44mpk) that is activated with a similar time course during oocyte maturation. Purified sea-star oocyte p44mpk phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase (purified from rat liver) predominantly on serine and to a small extent on threonine. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase occurred principally on a tryptic phosphopeptide which displayed electrophoretic and chromatographic properties very similar to those of the peptide that has previously been shown to undergo increased phosphorylation in response to insulin in rat adipocytes [Brownsey & Denton (1982) Biochem. J. 202, 77-86]. The acetyl-CoA carboxylase was phosphorylated at a similar rate and to a similar extent by casein kinase II, which was also purified from maturing sea-star oocytes. Although casein kinase II was also activated approximately 3-fold near the time of nuclear envelope breakdown, it was responsible for only a minor component of the total enhanced acetyl-CoA carboxylase kinase activity measured in the soluble extracts from maturing oocytes. Acetyl-CoA carboxylase was a relatively poor substrate for the major S6 peptide kinase activity that was also stimulated during resumption of meiosis in the oocytes. The properties of the p44mpk are reminiscent of those of a microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP-2) kinase that is activated in response to insulin and other mitogens in mammalian cells [Ray & Sturgill (1988) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 85, 3753-3757; Hoshi, Nishida & Sakai (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 5396-5401]. It is intriguing that several of the mammalian protein kinases that are acutely activated after mitogenic prompting of quiescent mouse fibroblasts (i.e. G0 to G1 transition), such as MAP-2 kinase, casein kinase II and S6 kinase II, have counterparts that are activated during M-phase in maturing sea star oocytes.
- © 1991 The Biochemical Society, London