John W Newport

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The Xenopus embryo undergoes 12 rapid synchronous cleavages followed by a period of slower asynchronous divisions more typical of somatic cells. This change in cell cleavage has been termed the midblastula transition (MBT). We show that at the MBT the blastomeres become motile and transcriptionally active for the first time. We have investigated the timing(More)
We have shown in the accompanying paper that a developmental transition occurs at the midblastula stage (cleavage 12) in Xenopus embryos, and that this midblastula transition (MBT) is apparently initiated when the ratio of nucleus to cytoplasm reaches a critical value. One manifestation of this transition is the onset of transcription. We show here that a(More)
We have developed a cell-free system derived from Xenopus eggs that reconstitutes nuclear structure around an added protein-free substrate (bacteriophage lambda DNA). Assembled nuclei are morphologically indistinguishable from normal eukaryotic nuclei: they are surrounded by a double membrane containing nuclear pores and are lined with a peripheral nuclear(More)
The nuclear envelope is composed of membranes, nuclear pores, and a nuclear lamina. Using a cell-free nuclear assembly extract derived from Xenopus eggs, we have investigated how these three components interact during nuclear assembly. We find that the Xenopus embryonic lamin protein LIII cannot bind directly to chromatin or membranes when each is present(More)
During cell division complete DNA replication must occur before mitosis is initiated. Using a cell-free extract derived from Xenopus eggs that oscillates between S phase and mitosis, we have investigated how completion of DNA synthesis is coupled to the initiation of mitosis. We find that Xenopus eggs contain a feedback pathway which suppresses mitosis(More)
Using Xenopus egg extracts, we have developed a completely soluble system for eukaryotic chromosomal DNA replication. In the absence of a nuclear envelope, a single, complete round of ORC-dependent DNA replication is catalyzed by cytosolic and nuclear extracts added sequentially to demembranated sperm chromatin or prokaryotic plasmid DNA. The absence of(More)
We report that a plasmid replicating in Xenopus egg extracts becomes negatively supercoiled during replication initiation. Supercoiling requires the initiation factor Cdc45, as well as the single-stranded DNA-binding protein RPA, and therefore likely represents origin unwinding. When unwinding is prevented, Cdc45 binds to chromatin whereas DNA polymerase(More)
Xenopus eggs contain two distinct cdc2 homologs of 34 and 32 kd. We show that the 32 kd cdc2 protein, like the 34 kd protein, is a kinase. However, unlike the 34 kd homolog, the 32 kd cdc2 kinase activity does not decrease dramatically at the end of mitosis. The 32 kd protein does not associate with mitotic cyclins B1 and B2 but does associate with cyclin A(More)
In cell-free extracts derived from Xenopus eggs which oscillate between S phase and mitosis, incompletely replicated DNA blocks the activation of p34cdc2-cyclin by maintaining p34cdc2 in a tyrosine-phosphorylated form. We used a recombinant cyclin fusion protein to generate a substrate to measure the ability of the tyrosine kinase(s) to phosphorylate and(More)
In Xenopus, a cytoplasmic agent known as MPF induces entry into mitosis. In fission yeast, genetic studies have shown that the cdc2 kinase regulates mitotic initiation. The 13 kd product of the suc1 gene interacts with the cdc2 kinase in yeast cells. We show that the yeast suc1 gene product (p13) is a potent inhibitor of MPF in cell-free extracts from(More)