Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
The dual-specificity kinases, TOPK and DYRK1A, are critical for oocyte maturation induced by wild-type-but not by oncogenic- ras-p21 protein
We have previously found that oncogenic ras-p21 and insulin, which activates wild-type ras-21 protein, both induce Xenopus laevis oocyte maturation that is dependent on activation of raf. However, oncogenic ras-p21 utilizes raf-dependent activation of the two classic raf targets, MEK and MAP kinase (MAPK or ERK) while insulin-activated wild-type ras-p21 does not depend on activation of these two kinases. Utilizing a microarray containing the entire Xenopus genome, we discovered two dual specificity kinases, T-Cell Origin Protein Kinase (TOPK), known to bind to raf and the nuclear kinase, DYRK1A, that are expressed at much higher levels in insulin-matured oocytes. Using SiRNA's directed against expression of both of these proteins, we now show that each inhibits insulin-but not oncogenic ras-p21-induced oocyte maturation. Control siRNA's have no effect on either agent in induction of maturation. We find that each SiRNA "knocks down" expression of its target protein while not affecting expression of the other protein. These results suggest that both proteins are required for maturation induced by wild-type, but not oncogenic, ras-p21. They also suggest that oncogenic and wild-type ras-p21 utilize pathways that become divergent downstream of raf. On the basis of these findings, we propose a model for two signal transduction pathways by oncogenic and activated wild-type ras-p21 showing points of overlap and divergence.