Tetramethylrhodamine-labelled microtubules were observed to move on rows of dynein arms of sea urchin sperm axonemes exposed by elastase-induced sliding disintegration. The microtubules moved towards the flagellar tip at a velocity of 3.1+/−2.1 microm second-1 (mean +/− s.d., n=53) in the presence of 0.1 mM ATP at 22 degrees C, but none moved towards the sperm head. We also examined the polarity of microtubule binding to axonemal doublet microtubules in the absence of ATP by using microtubules brightly labelled at their minus-ends. In 140 of 210 microtubules studied, they bound to axonemal microtubules with a parallel polarity. These results suggest that tightly packed dynein arms on the outer doublet microtubules of sperm axoneme preferentially bind microtubules to themselves with the same polarity as that of the axoneme and that they generate a force to move only these microtubules in the direction away from the sperm head.
Unidirectional movement of fluorescent microtubules on rows of dynein arms of disintegrated axonemes
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A. Yamada, T. Yamaga, H. Sakakibara, H. Nakayama, K. Oiwa; Unidirectional movement of fluorescent microtubules on rows of dynein arms of disintegrated axonemes. J Cell Sci 1 January 1998; 111 (1): 93–98. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jcs.111.1.93
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