Date of this Version
Maturation-promoting factor causes germinal vesicle breakdown when injected into Xenopus oocytes and can induce metaphase in a cell-free system. The cell-free assay was used to monitor maturation-promoting factor during its purification from unfertilized Xenopus eggs. Ammonium sulfate precipitation and six chromatographic procedures resulted in a preparation purified >3000-fold that could induce germinal vesicle breakdown within 2 hr when injected into cycloheximide- treated oocytes. Proteins of 45 kDa and 32 kDa were correlated with fractions of highest activity in both assays. These fractions contained a protein kinase activity able to phosphorylate the endogenous 45-kDa protein, as well as histone Hi, phosphatase inhibitor 1, and casein. The highly purified preparations described here should help to identify the mechanism of action of maturation-promoting factor and to elucidate the role of protein kinases in the induction of metaphase.