Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Thyone sperm undergo an explosive acrosome reaction resulting in the extension of a 90 μm long acrosomal process. In unreacted sperm, profilamentous actin is sequestered within the profilactin cup (Tilney: Journal of Cell Biology 69:73-89, 1976), which consists of four major polypeptides: actin, profilin, and a 250/235 kDa equimolar doublet (TS 250/235). Dialysis of profilactin preparations into an actin assembly buffer resulted in the formation of acrosomal-like macromolecular aggregates containing actin, TS 250/235, and several other polypeptides as detected by SDS-PAGE. TS 250/235 was purified by subjecting extracts of pH solubilized profilactin cups to DEAE and phosphocellulose ion exchange chromatography. TS 250/235 demonstrated immunocrossreactivity with affinity purified polyclonal antibodies raised against S. purpuratus egg spectrin. As determined by biotinylated-calmodulin overlays, both subunits of TS 250/235 bound calmodulin in a Ca++-sensitive manner. Electron microscopy of low angle, rotary shadowed replicas of TS 250/235 revealed an elongate rod-shaped molecule with an average contour length of 203 nm. By indirect immunofluorescence, TS 250/235 was found to be uniformly distributed throughout the profilactin cup of the unreacted sperm. This distribution of TS 250/235 correlated with the location of monomeric actin as determined by localization studies utilizing fluorescent-DNase-1. Upon sperm activation, the cellular distribution of TS 250/235 dramatically changed and was observed both along the length and at the base of the extended acrosomal process.
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