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Several protein kinases are involved in the meiotic maturation of frog oocytes in order to activate the maturation-promoting factor (MPF). Among these kinases, the 90 kDa ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p90Rsk or Rsk) is directly phosphorylated and acti-vated by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). During Xenopus oocyte maturation, the activation of Rsk closely parallels that of MAPK. Both enzymes are dephosphorylated when the cytostatic factor (CSF) disappears after fertilization. Therefore, Rsk seems to play an essential role in the activation of MPF. To evaluate it in other frog oocytes, we cloned and char-acterized Rsk cDNA in Rana dybowskii oocytes. The cloned Rana Rsk cDNA had 2,961 bp of nucleotides, which contained a complete single open-reading frame with ATG codon and polyadenylation signal. The de-duced amino acid sequence of Rana Rsk is 733 amino acids with 83 kDa. Rana Rsk shows a high homology (about 88%) with Xenopus Rsk. It also had two well-conserved kinase domains with specific phosphoryla-tion sites, which are known to be essential for the acti-vation of Rsk. A Northern analysis showed that Rana Rsk mRNA was strongly expressed in ovary tissue, but weakly in other tissue. Rana Rsk protein is expressed with the pTYB1 vector and purified with the IMPACT-CN system. The purified Rana Rsk cross-reacted with Xenopus, a p90Rsk2 antiserum. Therefore, we examined the phosphorylation of Rana Rsk during Rana oocyte maturation. In P4-treated oocytes, Rana Rsk was phosphorylated about 6-9 h, which correlated well with the germinal vesicle breakdown of Rana oo-cytes. Therefore, it is likely that Rana Rsk plays an important role in the meiotic maturation of seasonal breeding animals.