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J Biol Chem January 28, 2000; 275 (4): 2367-75.

Regulation of Xenopus p21-activated kinase (X-PAK2) by Cdc42 and maturation-promoting factor controls Xenopus oocyte maturation.

Cau J , Faure S , Vigneron S , Labbé JC , Delsert C , Morin N .

Signal transduction cascades involved in regulation of the cell cycle machinery are poorly understood. In the Xenopus oocyte model, meiotic maturation is triggered by MPF, a complex of p34(cdc2)-cyclin B, which is activated in response to a progesterone signal by largely unknown mechanisms. We have previously shown that the p21-activated kinase (PAK) family negatively regulates the MPF amplification loop. In this study, we identify the endogenous PAK2 as a key enzyme in this regulation and describe the pathways by which PAK2 is regulated. We show that the small GTPase Cdc42 is required for maintenance of active endogenous X-PAK2 in resting stage VI oocytes, whereas Rac1 is not involved in this regulation. During the process of maturation, X-PAK2 phosphorylation results in its inactivation and allows maturation to proceed to completion. Activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase and cyclin B-p34(cdc2) is coincident with X-PAK2 inactivation, and purified active MPF inhibits X-PAK2, demonstrating the existence of a new positive feedback loop. Our results confirm and extend the importance of p21-activated kinases in the control of the G(2)/M transition. We hypothesize that the X-PAK2/Cdc42 pathway could link p34(cdc2) activity to the major cytoskeleton rearrangements leading to spindle migration and anchorage to the animal pole cortex.

PubMed ID: 10644687
Article link: J Biol Chem

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: cdc42 cdk1 cdkn1a pak1 pak2 pkn2 rac1