Length regulation of multiple flagella that self-assemble from a shared pool of components.

08:00 EDT 9th October 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Length regulation of multiple flagella that self-assemble from a shared pool of components."

The single-celled green algae with its two flagella - microtubule-based structures of equal and constant lengths - is the canonical model organism for studying size control of organelles. Experiments have identified motor-driven transport of tubulin to the flagella tips as a key component of their length control. Here we consider a class of models whose key assumption is that proteins responsible for the intraflagellar transport (IFT) of tubulin are present in limiting amounts. We show that the limiting-pool assumption is insufficient to describe the results of severing experiments, in which a flagellum is regenerated after it has been severed. Next, we consider an extension of the limiting-pool model that incorporates proteins that depolymerize microtubules. We show that this 'active disassembly' model of flagellar length control explains in quantitative detail the results of severing experiments and use it to make predictions that can be tested in experiments.


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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: eLife
ISSN: 2050-084X


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A whiplike motility appendage present on the surface cells. Prokaryote flagella are composed of a protein called FLAGELLIN. Bacteria can have a single flagellum, a tuft at one pole, or multiple flagella covering the entire surface. In eukaryotes, flagella are threadlike protoplasmic extensions used to propel flagellates and sperm. Flagella have the same basic structure as CILIA but are longer in proportion to the cell bearing them and present in much smaller numbers. (From King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)

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