From oocyte maturation to the in vitro cell cycle: the history of discoveries of Maturation-Promoting Factor (MPF) and Cytostatic Factor (CSF)

Differentiation. 2001 Dec;69(1):1-17. doi: 10.1046/j.1432-0436.2001.690101.x.


This article briefly reviews the classical cell cycle studies using oocytes and zygotes of mainly amphibians in the past century. The discussions are focused on the investigations into the cytoplasmic factors that regulate meiosis during oocyte maturation and the initiation of mitosis during fertilisation, which were carried out in the author's lab between 1967 and 1987. This chronicle traces the development of the problems and the direction in which their solutions were attempted in the course of these investigations. The author tries to answer the following questions: why he decided to study oocyte maturation, how he discovered progesterone as a maturation-inducing hormone, how he discovered and characterised the cytoplasmic regulators of the cell cycle, Maturation-Promoting Factor (MPF) and Cyto-Static Factor (CSF), and how he invented the method of observing cell cycle processes in a cytoplasmic extract in vitro.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle*
  • History, 20th Century
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor* / history
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor* / physiology
  • Oocytes / cytology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos* / history
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos* / physiology


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos
  • Maturation-Promoting Factor