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Symp Soc Exp Biol. 1982;35:159-77.

Microtubule sliding in reactivated flagella.


Recent experimental studies of microtubule sliding in demembranated sea urchin sperm flagella are described. A local iontophoretic application of ATP to a Triton-extracted flagellum elicits a local bending response whose form is in exact conformity with the predictions of the sliding microtubule model. Cinematographic analysis of the microtubule sliding initiated by treating fragments of demembranated flagella with trypsin in the presence of ATP reveals that the speed of sliding is almost constant. This implies that the speed does not depend on the number of dynein arms participating in the generation of sliding force. The distribution of apparent sliding velocities indicates that there is no difference in sliding velocity among the doublets. The sliding velocity depends on MgATP concentration in a manner consistent with Michaelis-Menten kinetics. The sliding velocity of doublets in trypsin-treated axonemes is close to the maximum velocity of relative sliding taking place between adjacent doublets in beating flagella reactivated at the same MgATP concentration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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