Structural and Functional Characterization of Paramecium Dynein: Initial Studies


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11 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT Dynein arms and isolated dynein from Paramecium tetraurelia ciliary axonemes are comparable in structure, direction of force generation, and microtubule translocation ability to other dyneins. In situ arms have dimensions and substructure similar to those of Tetrahymena. Based on spoke arrangement in intact axonemes, arms translocate axonemal microtubules in sliding such that active dynein arms are (‐) end directed motors and the doublet to which the body and cape of the arms binds (N) translocates the adjacent doublet (N+1) upward. After salt extraction, based on ATPase activity, paramecium dynein is found as a 22S and a 14S species. the 22S dynein is a three‐headed molecule that has unfolded from the in situ dimensions; the 14S dynein is single headed. Both dyneins can be photocleaved by UV light (350 nm) in the presence of Mg2‐, ATP and vanadate; the photocleavage pattern of 22S dynein differs from that seen with Tetrahymena. Both isolated dyneins translocate taxol‐stabilized, bovine brain microtubules in vitro. Under standard conditions, 22S dynein, like comparable dyneins from other organisms, translocates at velocities that are about three times faster than 14S dynein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of protozoology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • ATPase
  • axoneme
  • cilia
  • microtubule‐based motility.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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