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Calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II triggers mouse egg activation and embryo development in the absence of Ca2+ oscillations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Suzanne Madgwick, Professor Keith Jones


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Fertilization in mammalian eggs is accompanied by oscillatory changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration, which are critical for initiating and completing egg activation events and the developmental program. Ca2+/Camodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is a multifunctional enzyme that is postulated to be the downstream transducer of the Ca2+ signal in many cell types. We tested the hypothesis that CaMKII is the major integrator of Ca2+-induced egg activation events and embryo development by microinjecting a cRNA that encodes a constitutively active (Ca2+-independent) mutant form of CaMKII (CA-CaMKII) into mouse eggs. Expression of this cRNA, which does not increase intracellular Ca2+, induced a sustained rise in CaMKII activity and triggered egg activation events, including cell cycle resumption, and degradation and recruitment of maternal mRNAs; cortical granule exocytosis, however, did not occur normally. Furthermore, when mouse eggs were injected with sperm devoid of Ca2+-releasing activity and activated with either CA-CaMKII cRNA or by SrCl2, similar rates and incidence of development to the blastocyst stage were observed. These results strongly suggest that CaMKII is a major integrator of the Ca2+ changes that occur following fertilization. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Knott JG, Gardner AJ, Madgwick S, Jones KT, Williams CJ, Schultz RM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Biology

Year: 2006

Volume: 296

Issue: 2

Pages: 388-395

ISSN (print): 0012-1606

ISSN (electronic): 1095-564X

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.06.004

PubMed id: 16824507


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