Isolation and Identification of Meiosis Inducing Substance in Starfish Asterias amurensis


INVESTIGATIONS of the mechanism of starfish spawning induced by injection of a water extract of radial nerves have shown that an active polypeptide acts on the ovary and induces the production of a second substance which is, in the true sense, a meiosis inducing factor as well as a spawning inducing factor1–7. The neural substance has therefore been renamed gonad stimulating substance (GSS), and the second substance, produced in the ovary, is meiosis inducing substance (MIS)5,7. Isolated ovarian fragments immersed in seawater containing MIS discharge their eggs4,5,7, while isolated oocytes with germinal vesicles treated with MIS mature4–7. The production of MIS by GSS has been demonstrated in isolated ovarian fragments of seven species of starfish, and it seems to be non-species specific among starfishes7. MIS is heat stable (100° C, 30 min) and is not a peptide5,6.

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KANATANI, H., SHIRAI, H., NAKANISHI, K. et al. Isolation and Identification of Meiosis Inducing Substance in Starfish Asterias amurensis. Nature 221, 273–274 (1969).

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