Coordinate activation of maternal protein degradation during the egg-to-embryo transition in C. elegans

Dev Cell. 2003 Sep;5(3):451-62. doi: 10.1016/s1534-5807(03)00231-4.

Abstract

The transition from egg to embryo occurs in the absence of transcription yet requires significant changes in gene activity. Here, we show that the C. elegans DYRK family kinase MBK-2 coordinates the degradation of several maternal proteins, and is essential for zygotes to complete cytokinesis and pattern the first embryonic axis. In mbk-2 mutants, the meiosis-specific katanin subunits MEI-1 and MEI-2 persist during mitosis and the first mitotic division fails. mbk-2 is also required for posterior enrichment of the germ plasm before the first cleavage, and degradation of germ plasm components in anterior cells after cleavage. MBK-2 distribution changes dramatically after fertilization during the meiotic divisions, and this change correlates with activation of mbk-2-dependent processes. We propose that MBK-2 functions as a temporal regulator of protein stability, and that coordinate activation of maternal protein degradation is one of the mechanisms that drives the transition from symmetric egg to patterned embryo.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular / methods
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / instrumentation
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique / methods
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Ovum / physiology*
  • Plasma / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / classification
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / classification
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / isolation & purification
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Time Factors

Substances

  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • OMA-1 protein, C elegans
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • pie-1 protein, C elegans
  • Dyrk kinase
  • MBK-2 protein, C elegans
  • PAR-1 protein, C elegans
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • MEI-1 protein, C elegans
  • MEI-2 protein, C elegans