Our earlier studies indicated that the mitotic factors, which induce germinal vesicle breakdown and chromosome condensation when injected into fully grown Xenopus oocytes, are preferentially associated with metaphase chromosomes and that they bind to chromatin as soon as they are synthesized during the G2 phase. In this study, we attempted to determine the fate of these factors as the cell completes mitosis and enters G1. Extracts from HeLa cells at different points during G1, S, and G2 periods were mixed with mitotic extracts in various proportions, incubated, and then injected into Xenopus oocytes to determine their maturation-promoting activity. The maturation-promoting activity of the mitotic extracts was neutralized by extracts of G1 cells during all stages of G1 but not by those of late S and G2 phase cells. Extracts of quiescent (G0) human diploid fibroblasts exhibited very little inhibitory activity. However, UV irradiation of G0 cells, which is known to cause decondensation of chromatin, significantly enhanced the inhibitory activity of extracts of these cells. These factors are termed inhibitors of mitotic factors (IMF). They seem to be activated, rather than newly synthesized, as the cell enters telophase when chromosomes begin to decondense. The IMF are nondialyzable, nonhistone proteins with a molecular weight of greater than 12,000. Since mitotic factors are known to induce chromosome condensation, it is possible that IMF, which are antagonistic to mitotic factors, may serve the reverse function of the mitotic factors, i.e., regulation of chromosome decondensation.

This content is only available as a PDF.