Phosphorylation of Erp1 by p90rsk is required for cytostatic factor arrest in Xenopus laevis eggs

Nature. 2007 Apr 26;446(7139):1096-9. doi: 10.1038/nature05696. Epub 2007 Apr 4.


Until fertilization, the meiotic cell cycle of vertebrate eggs is arrested at metaphase of meiosis II by a cytoplasmic activity termed cytostatic factor (CSF), which causes inhibition of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), a ubiquitin ligase that targets mitotic cyclins-regulatory proteins of meiosis and mitosis-for degradation. Recent studies indicate that Erp1/Emi2, an inhibitor protein for the APC/C, has an essential role in establishing and maintaining CSF arrest, but its relationship to Mos, a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase that also has an essential role in establishing CSF arrest through activation of p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (p90rsk), is unclear. Here we report that in Xenopus eggs Erp1 is a substrate of p90rsk, and that Mos-dependent phosphorylation of Erp1 by p90rsk at Thr 336, Ser 342 and Ser 344 is crucial for both stabilizing Erp1 and establishing CSF arrest in meiosis II oocytes. Semi-quantitative analysis with CSF-arrested egg extracts reveals that the Mos-dependent phosphorylation of Erp1 enhances, but does not generate, the activity of Erp1 that maintains metaphase arrest. Our results also suggest that Erp1 inhibits cyclin B degradation by binding the APC/C at its carboxy-terminal destruction box, and this binding is also enhanced by the Mos-dependent phosphorylation. Thus, Mos and Erp1 collaboratively establish and maintain metaphase II arrest in Xenopus eggs. The link between Mos and Erp1 provides a molecular explanation for the integral mechanism of CSF arrest in unfertilized vertebrate eggs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome
  • Animals
  • F-Box Proteins / chemistry
  • F-Box Proteins / metabolism*
  • Meiosis
  • Metaphase
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Oocytes / cytology*
  • Oocytes / enzymology
  • Oocytes / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos / metabolism*
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 90-kDa / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes / metabolism
  • Xenopus Proteins / chemistry
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*
  • Xenopus laevis* / embryology


  • F-Box Proteins
  • FBXO43 protein, Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligase Complexes
  • Anaphase-Promoting Complex-Cyclosome
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 90-kDa
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases