Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017

Molecular motors produce the force that powers the beat of sperm cell tails to generate movement toward the egg cell for fertilization. New research now shows how the molecular motors that power the movement of sperm cells are recognized and specifically transported into the tail region of the cell. This knowledge can pave the way for a better understanding of disease causing mutations causing sterility.

Molecular motors use the molecule ATP as energy source to organize the inner life of cells. Dyneins are the largest and most complex molecular motors and are responsible for intracellular transport and for generation of the force required for motility of cilium organelles.


The picture at the top shows a sperm cell with the head (cell body) and tail (also known as flagellum or cilium) that propels the sperm cell forward. The schematic in the middle shows how dynein motors (yellow stars) are transported via intraflagellar transport (IFT) and periodically distributed. The picture at the bottom illustrates how the ODA16 structure functions as an adaptor between the transport system and the dynein motors.

Credit: Esben Lorentzen

Cilia are thin structures found on the surface of our cells where they function as sensors receiving signals from the environment and as motors causing the cell or the environment to move.

Motile cilia are found as a single copy on sperm cells and in multiple copies on cells in our lungs where they generate a fluid flow necessary for the removal of dust particles and pathogens from the airways.

The large dynein motors (known as 'outer dynein arms´, ODA) - that are necessary for the motility of cilia - are actively transported into cilia via the intraflagellar transport (IFT) system and the transport adaptor ODA16. Mutations in dynein motors or IFT factors can result in infertility and respiratory deficiency.

An international research team now mapped how dynein motors are recognized by the adaptor protein ODA16 and imported into cilia via the IFT system. The crystal structure of ODA16 shows how the largest barrel-like domain recognizes dynein motors and simultaneously binds the IFT complex via a cleft generated by the barrel domain and a smaller domain located on top of the barrel. ODA16 thus functions as a true adaptor between the large dynein and IFT complexes (see figure).

This new knowledge can pave the way for structure determination of IFT complexes associated with dynein motors via ODA16, which will lead to a deeper understanding of ciliary mechanisms and disease causing mutations in genes encoding dynein and IFT proteins.

The research team consists of Michael Taschner and Esben Lorentzen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Jérôme Basquin from the Max Planck Institute, Andre? Moura?o from the Helmholz Center (both in Munich, Germany) and Mayanka Awashti from Maryland University, USA.

The results are published in the scientific Journal of Biological Chemistry.

###

For further information, please contact

Associate Professor Esben Lorentzen
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
Aarhus University, Denmark
el@mbg.au.dk - +45 8715 5478

Media Contact

Esben Lorentzen
el@mbg.au.dk
45-87-15-54-78

 @aarhusuni

http://www.au.dk 

Esben Lorentzen | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: Biology Genetics Molecular Biology cilia dust particles dynein energy source sperm cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>