The puromycin analog N6,N6-dimethyladenine (6-dimethylaminopurine or 6-DMAP) was found to inhibit meiosis reinitiation in starfish oocytes stimulated by the natural hormone 1-methyladenine. Increasing concentrations of this agent delayed and eventually blocked germinal vesicle breakdown. They were found to be effective even when applied during the hormone-independent period, after the oocytes had been already committed to reinitiate meiosis. 6-DMAP mimics most of the effects of emetine since it induces protein dephosphorylation, inhibits polar body formation, and promotes the precocious appearance of resting nuclei. However, unlike emetine, 6-DMAP does not affect protein synthesis. The effect of this agent cannot be accounted for by a stimulation of the protease or phosphoprotein phosphatase activities since the rate and extent of protein dephosphorylation do not increase in its presence. Data from in vivo and in vitro endogenous protein phosphorylation experiments suggest rather that 6-DMAP may directly or indirectly affect the activity of a relevant c-AMP and Ca2+-independent protein kinase which is stimulated after hormone addition and seems to support starfish oocyte maturation.