Tektins, which are thought to be the constitutive proteins of microtubules in cilia, flagella, basal bodies, and centrioles, have been reported to be involved in the stability and structural complexity of axonemal microtubules. Four types of mammalian Tektins have been reported, and at least two types of Tektins, Tektin 2 and Tektin 4, have been verified to be present in sperm flagella. To elucidate the molecular localization of Tektin 4 in flagella of rodent spermatozoa, we performed immunocytochemistry, fractionation study followed by immunoblot analysis, and immunogold electron microscopy. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy indicated that Tektin 4 was associated with outer dense fibers (ODFs) in both the middle and principal piece of flagella in rat and mouse spermatozoa. Tektin 4 in rat spermatozoa is completely released by 6 M urea treatment, but not extracted by 1% Triton X-100 and 0.6 M potassium thiocyanate. Pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that Tektin 4 located on the abaxial (convex) surface of ODFs in flagella, not associate with axonemal microtubules. Our data strongly suggested that Tektin 4 is not associated with axonemal tubulins but an ODFs-affiliated molecule in rodent spermatozoa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology