We have microinjected a mAb specifically directed to phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) into one blastomere of two-cell stage Xenopus laevis embryos. This antibody binds to endogenous PIP2 and reduces its rate of hydrolysis by phospholipase C. Antibody-injected blastomeres undergo partial or complete arrest of the cell cycle whereas the uninjected sister blastomeres divided normally. Since PIP2 hydrolysis normally produces diacylglycerol (DG) and inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (Ins[1,4,5]P3), we attempted to measure changes in the levels of DG following stimulation of PIP2 hydrolysis in antibody-injected oocytes. The total amount of DG in antibody-injected oocytes was significantly reduced compared to that of water-injected ones following stimulation by either acetylcholine or progesterone indicating that the antibody does indeed suppress PIP2 hydrolysis. We also found that the PIP2 antibodies greatly reduced the amount of intracellular Ca2+ released in the egg cortex during egg activation. As an indirect test for Ins(1,4,5)P3 involvement in the cell cycle we injected heparin which competes with Ins(1,4,5)P3 for binding to its receptor, and thus inhibits Ins(1,4,5)P3-induced Ca2+ release. Microinjection of heparin into one blastomere of the two-cell stage embryo caused partial or complete arrest of the cell cycle depending upon the concentration of heparin injected. We further investigated the effect of reducing any [Ca2+]i gradients by microinjecting dibromo-BAPTA into the blastomere. Dibromo-BAPTA injection completely blocked mitotic cell division when a final concentration of 1.5 mM was used. These results suggest that PIP2 turnover as well as second messenger activity influence cell cycle duration during embryonic cell division in frogs.

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