A Novel 95-kD Protein Is Located in a Linker between Cytoplasmic Microtubules and Basal Bodies in a Green Flagellate and Forms Striated Filaments In Vitro

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The flagellar basal apparatus comprises the basal bodies and the attached fibrous structures, which together form the organizing center for the cytoskeleton in many flagellated cells. Basal apparatus were isolated from the naked green flagellate Spermatozopsis similis and shown to be composed of several dozens of different polypeptides including a protein band of 95 kD. Screening of a cDNA library of S. similis with a polyclonal antibody raised against the 95-kD band resulted in a full-length clone coding for a novel protein of 834 amino acids (90.3 kD). Sequence analysis identified nonhelical NH2-and COOH-terminal domains flanking a central domain of ∼650 residues, which was predicted to form a series of coiled-coils interrupted by short spacer segments. Immunogold labeling using a polyclonal antibody raised against the bacterially expressed 95-kD protein exclusively decorated the striated, wedge-shaped fibers, termed sinister fibers (sf-fibers), attached to the basal bodies of S. similis. Striated fibers with a periodicity of 98 nm were assembled in vitro from the purified protein expressed from the cloned cDNA indicating that the 95-kD protein could be a major component of the sf-fibers. This structure interconnects specific triplets of the basal bodies with the microtubular bundles that emerge from the basal apparatus. The sf-fibers and similar structures, e.g., basal feet or satellites, described in various eukaryotes including vertebrates, may be representative for cytoskeletal elements involved in positioning of basal bodies/centrioles with respect to cytoskeletal microtubules and vice versa.

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