Substructure of sidearms on squid axoplasmic vesicles and microtubules visualized by negative contrast electron microscopy.

G. M. Langford, R. D. Allen, D. G. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a high-resolution electron microscopic study of the sidearms on microtubules and vesicles that are suggested to form the crossbridges which produce the microtubule-based vesicle transport in squid axoplasm. The sidearms were found attached to the surfaces of the anterogradely transported vesicles in the presence of ATP. These sidearms were made of one to three filaments of uniform diameter. Each filament measured 5-6 nm in width and 30-35 nm in length. The filaments in some of the sidearms had splayed apart by pivoting at their base, thereby assuming a "V" shape. The spread configuration illustrated the independence of the individual filaments. The filaments in other sidearms were closely spaced and oriented parallel to each other, a pattern called the compact configuration. In axoplasmic buffer containing AMP-PNP, structures indistinguishable from the filaments of the sidearms on the vesicles were observed attached to microtubules. Pairs of filaments, thought to represent the basic functional unit, were observed attached to adjacent protofilaments of the microtubules by their distal tips. These data support a model of vesicle movement in which a pair of filaments within a sidearm forms two crossbridges and moves a vesicle by "walking" along the protofilaments of the microtubule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalCell motility and the cytoskeleton
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology

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