The motile major sperm protein (MSP) of Ascaris suum forms filaments constructed from two helical subfilaments
Journal of Molecular Biology
M StewartT M Roberts
The amoeboid motility nematode sperm is mediated by cytoskeletal filaments composed of major sperm protein (MSP). We have used electron microscopy and image processing to show that MSP filaments are constructed from two subfilament strands which are themselves formed from a helical arrangement of subunits. The subfilaments are based on left-handed helices of pitch 9 nm that then coil along right-handed helical tracks of pitch 22.5 nm to form filaments. The subfilaments appear to be indistinguishable from the helices present in orthorhombic crystals of MSP. Because in filaments the subfilaments are themselves helical, not all subunits are able to participate in protein-protein interactions between different strands. One consequence of this interaction geometry is that the same molecular interactions that function to assemble subfilaments into filaments can also be used to assemble filaments into larger supramolecular assemblies such as the macrofibres formed in vitro and the fibre bundles found in vivo in sperm pseudopods. These results indicate the importance of filament bundling in addition to vectorial filament assembly in amoeboid cell motility.
Cajal bodies or coiled bodies are dense foci of coilin protein. Gemini of Cajal bodies, or gems, are microscopically similar to Cajal bodies. It is believed that Cajal bodies play important roles in RNA processing while gems assist the Cajal bodies. Find the latest research on Cajal bodies and gems here.