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Calcium-induced asymmetrical beating of triton-demembranated sea urchin sperm flagella

Brokaw, C. J. (1979) Calcium-induced asymmetrical beating of triton-demembranated sea urchin sperm flagella. Journal of Cell Biology, 82 (2). pp. 401-411. ISSN 0021-9525. PMCID PMC2110463. doi:10.1083/jcb.82.2.401.

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Asymmetrical bending waves can be obtained by reactivating demembranated sea urchin spermatozoa at high Ca2+ concentrations. Moving-film flash photography shows that asymmetrical flagellar bending waves are associated with premature termination of the growth of the bends in one direction (the reverse bends) while the bends in the opposite direction (the principal bends) grow for one full beat cycle, and with unequal rates of growth of principal and reverse bends. The relative proportions of these two components of asymmetry are highly variable. The increased angle in the principal bend is compensated by a decreased angle in the reverse bend, so that there is no change in mean bend angle; the wavelength and beat frequency are also independent of the degree of asymmetry. This new information is still insufficient to identify a particular mechanism for Ca2+-induced asymmetry. When a developing bend stops growing before initiation of growth of a new bend in the same direction, a modification of the sliding between tubules in the distal portion of the flagellum is required. This modification can be described as a superposition of synchronous sliding on the metachronous sliding associated with propagating bending waves. Synchronous sliding is particularly evident in highly asymmetrical flagella, but is probably not the cause of asymmetry. The control of metachronous sliding appears to be unaffected by the superposition of synchronous sliding.

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Additional Information:© 1979 by The Rockefeller University Press. Received for publication 11 December 1978, and in revised form 1 March 1979. I thank Tom Simonick for able technical assistance with this work, and S.F. Goldstein, I.R. Gibbons, and P. Satir for valuable suggestions. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant GM-18711 and by grant RR07003 awarded by the Biomedical Research Support Grant program, Division of Research Resources, NIH.
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Subject Keywords:calcium; flagella; microtubules; motility; spermatozoa
Issue or Number:2
PubMed Central ID:PMC2110463
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BROjcb79
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9878
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:25 Mar 2008
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 21:02

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