Potassium salt microinjection into Xenopus oocytes mimics gonadotropin treatment

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Science  03 Jun 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4857, pp. 1321-1323
DOI: 10.1126/science.3375816


Gonadotropin stimulates protein synthesis and growth in ovarian oocytes. The hormone is also known to modify transfollicular K+ fluxes and is now shown to cause increased intraoocytic K+ activity (aK). The hormone's effect on aK was duplicated by microinjecting K+ salts into oocytes which were incubated in paraffin oil. This treatment mimicked the influence of gonadotropin on both the rate of protein synthesis and the synthesis of specific polypeptides. These findings suggest that gonadotropin-stimulated oocyte growth is attributable largely to the hormone's influence on transfollicular K+ fluxes. They support the hypothesis that the K+ flux and aK changes observed during cell activation are critical in causing subsequent increases in protein synthesis and growth.