Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
In this work, we examine whether the “nexin” linkages of the flagellum can extend in length to accommodate interdoublet sliding. Flagellar bends of large angle were induced in bull spermatozoa by hypotonic treatment. It is argued that this produces large interdoublet displacements that are, nevertheless, still within physiological limits. Such flagella were examined by the rapid-freeze, deep-etch techique and the nexin linkages identified by their position in relation to the inner dynein arms and by their straplike, bipartite, morphology. They were found to bridge perpendicularly (or occasionally at an angle) between the A- and B-tubules of adjacent doublets. The nexin linkages were no more than ∼20 nm in length, even in regions in which ∼200 nm of sliding could be inferred. Variable registration between adjacent nexin rows gave some further support to the assumption that sliding had indeed taken place. From this, it is concluded that elastic deformation of the links, such as would accommodate interdoublet sliding, does not occur; some form of displacement must occur between nexin and the adjacent B-tubule. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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