Structure of the acrosomal bundle

Michael F. Schmid, Michael Sherman, Paul Matsudaira, Wah Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the unactivated Limulus sperm, a 60-μ-long bundle of actin filaments crosslinked by the protein scruin is bent and twisted into a coil around the base of the nucleus. At fertilization, the bundle uncoils and fully extends in five seconds to support a finger of membrane known as the acrosomal process. This biological spring is powered by stored elastic energy and does not require the action of motor proteins or actin polymerization. In a 9.5-Å electron cryomicroscopic structure of the extended bundle, we show that twist, tilt and rotation of actin-scruin subunits deviate widely from a 'standard' F-actin filament. This variability in structural organization allows filaments to pack into a highly ordered and rigid bundle in the extended state and suggests a mechanism for storing and releasing energy between coiled and extended states without disassembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-107
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume430
Issue number7004
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Actins
Actin Cytoskeleton
Horseshoe Crabs
Fertilization
Polymerization
Fingers
Spermatozoa
Proteins
Electrons
Membranes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Schmid, M. F., Sherman, M., Matsudaira, P., & Chiu, W. (2004). Structure of the acrosomal bundle. Nature, 430(7004), 104-107. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02881

Structure of the acrosomal bundle. / Schmid, Michael F.; Sherman, Michael; Matsudaira, Paul; Chiu, Wah.

In: Nature, Vol. 430, No. 7004, 02.09.2004, p. 104-107.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schmid, MF, Sherman, M, Matsudaira, P & Chiu, W 2004, 'Structure of the acrosomal bundle', Nature, vol. 430, no. 7004, pp. 104-107. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02881
Schmid MF, Sherman M, Matsudaira P, Chiu W. Structure of the acrosomal bundle. Nature. 2004 Sep 2;430(7004):104-107. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02881
Schmid, Michael F. ; Sherman, Michael ; Matsudaira, Paul ; Chiu, Wah. / Structure of the acrosomal bundle. In: Nature. 2004 ; Vol. 430, No. 7004. pp. 104-107.
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