Role of the MAPK cascade in mammalian germ cells

Reprod Fertil Dev. 1999;11(7-8):443-50. doi: 10.1071/rd00014.


The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is one of the most important of the intracellular signaling pathways that play a crucial role in cell proliferation, cell differentiation and cell cycle regulation. Since the first report in 1993 of MAPK's involvement in the functional regulation of mammalian oocytes, much work has been done on the role of the MAPK cascade in germ cells in different species of mammals. This review describes the possible involvement of the MOS/MEK/MAPK/RSK cascade in spermatogenesis, sperm function, oocyte meiotic re-initiation, spindle assembly, metaphase II arrest, pronuclear formation and the entry of first mitosis, as well as the cross-talk of this cascade to maturation-promoting factor (MPF) and other signal molecules in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Fertilization
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Mitosis
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*


  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases