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Nemer M , Stuebing EW
WEE1-like CDK tyrosine kinase mRNA level is regulated temporally and spatially in sea urchin embryos
Mechanisms of Development. 1996 Aug;58(1-2) :75-88
PMID: ISI:A1996VJ10700007   
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A cDNA from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus encodes a 624 amino acid polypeptide (WEE1(S.purp)) with a high degree of similarity to the Mik1 and Wee1 protein tyrosine kinases. These kinases act as negative regulators of mitosis by inactivating cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK). Wee1 activity varies during the cell-cycle, and is generated only when required. The pattern of WEE1(S.purp) mRNA expression was examined temporally and spatially in sea urchin embryos. Only a trace amount of WEE1(S.purp) mRNA is present in the egg and through the fifth cell cycle post-fertilization. During the next three cycles to the mid-blastula stage, its concentration rises transiently to 2.5 x 10(4) transcripts per embryo. Its developmental profile during this early period is the inverse bf that reported for cyclin mRNAs, which are at a high level in the egg and through the fifth cell cycle, then decline upon further development. WEE1(S.purp) mRNA in the gastrula and pluteus stages becomes restricted to cells engaged in DNA replication, including the endoderm (gut), oral ectoderm, and arm rudiments. It is absent from the aboral ectoderm, which lacks cycling cells. In the pluteus larva of the species Lytechinus pictus, WEE1 mRNA was detected in the arm rudiments during cellular proliferation and arm elongation, but not after the completion of the arms. Putative regulatory motifs in the sea urchin Wee1-like cDNA suggest a capacity for rapid turnover of both its mRNA and protein: The WEE1(S.purp) mRNA 3' UTR contains 13 AUUUA pentamers, which have been characterized as determinants of. mRNA lability; and the N-terminal domain of the predicted WEE1(S.purp) polypeptide is enriched in S/TP- containing, potential kinase-target sites, as well as high- value 'PEST' sequences, associated with protein lability. The developmental appearance of WEE1(S.purp) mRNA may coincide with the introduction of a gap phase in the cell cycle. Its spatial pattern during embryogenesis appears to reflect distinct programs of regulated cell cycling in differentiating tissues.
Times Cited: 6 English Article VJ107 MECH DEVELOP