The requirement of the germinal vesicle (GV) for the normal kinetics of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activity during porcine oocyte maturation was investigated. Porcine follicular oocytes were enucleated, and the locations of their extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2), major MAP kinases in maturating porcine oocytes, were detected by indirect immunofluorescent microscopy. The MAP kinase activity was assayed as myelin basic protein (MBP) kinase activity, and the phosphorylation states of ERK1/2 were detected by immunoblotting analyses. Translocation of MAP kinase into the GV and association with the spindle were observed in intact oocytes, while MAP kinase in enucleated oocytes was distributed almost uniformly in cytoplasm throughout the culturing period. The phosphorylation and the activation of MAP kinase were induced, and the activity was comparable with that of control denuded oocytes. The high level of activity was maintained through maturation, even in the absence of spindle formation. These results indicate that the presence of nuclear material and translocation into the GV are dispensable for the activation of MAP kinase and that associating with the spindle is not required for maintenance of its activity though porcine oocyte maturation.
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