In vertebrates, unfertilized eggs are arrested at metaphase of meiosis II by Emi2, a direct inhibitor of the APC/C ubiquitin ligase. Two different ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, UbcH10 and Ube2S, work with the APC/C to target APC/C substrates for degradation. However, their possible roles and regulations in unfertilized/fertilized eggs are not known. Here we use Xenopus egg extracts to show that both UbcH10 and Ube2S are required for rapid cyclin B degradation at fertilization, when APC/C binding of Ube2S, but not of UbcH10, increases several fold, coincidently with (SCFβ-TrCP-dependent) Emi2 degradation. Interestingly, before fertilization, Emi2 directly inhibits APC/C-Ube2S binding via the C-terminal tail, but on fertilization, its degradation allows the binding mediated by the Ube2S C-terminal tail. Significantly, Emi2 and Ube2S bind commonly to the APC/C catalytic subunit APC10 via their similar C-terminal tails. Thus, Emi2 competitively inhibits APC/C-Ube2S binding before fertilization, while its degradation on fertilization relieves the inhibition for APC/C activation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)