Relationship between plasma membrane mobility and substrate attachment in the crawling movement of spermatozoa from Caenorhabditis elegans.

F. M. Pavalko, T. M. Roberts, L. S. Holliday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans sperm are nonflagellated cells that lack actin and myosin yet can form pseudopods to propel themselves over solid substrates. Surface-attached probes such as latex beads, lectins, and antimembrane protein monoclonal antibodies move rearward over the dorsal pseudopod surface of sessile cells. Using monoclonal antibodies against membrane proteins of C. elegans sperm to examine the role of localized membrane assembly and rearward flow in crawling movement, we determined that substrates prepared by coating glass with antimembrane protein antibodies, but not naked glass or other nonmembrane-binding proteins, promote sperm motility. Sperm locomotion is inhibited in a concentration-dependent fashion when cells are bathed with soluble antimembrane protein monoclonal antibodies but not with antimouse Ig antibodies or a monoclonal antibody against a sperm cytoplasmic protein. Our results suggest that C. elegans sperm crawl by gaining traction with substrate-attached ligands via their surface proteins and by using the motor that moves those proteins rearward on unattached cells to pull the entire cell forward. Continuous insertion of new proteins at the front of the cell and their subsequent adhesion to the substrate allows this process to continue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalCell motility and the cytoskeleton
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology

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