Proteasomes are involved in ATP-dependent regulation of sperm motility in salmonid fish. We have demonstrated here by immunoelectron microscopy that proteasomes are located at the structure of the chum salmon sperm flagellum that attaches at the base of the outer arm dynein and extends toward the plasma membrane. Furthermore, substrates and inhibitors of proteasome inhibit the cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of a 22 kDa axonemal protein in chum salmon sperm. The 22 kDa phosphoprotein was solubilized by treatment of the axoneme with a high salt solution and subsequent sucrose density gradient centrifugation of the extract revealed that it cosedimented with 19 S outer arm dynein, indicating that it is a dynein light chain. These results suggest that proteasomes modulate the activity of outer arm dynein by regulating cAMP-dependent phosphorylation of the 22 kDa dynein light chain.

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