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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Ciliary Movements

Microtubules are polar structures, formed of polymers of heterodimers of globular α-tubulin and β-tubulin. Dynein moves along the microtubule towards the negative pole, while kinesin moves to the positive "opposite" direction. It makes about 100 steps in 1 second which leads to a velocity of about 1 mm/s, equal to an athlete who runs 200m in 1 second.

  • d_k_move

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Molecules of ciliary dynein form bridges between the neighboring doublet microtubules around the circumference of the axoneme. When the motor domain of this dynein is activated, the dynein molecules attached to one microtubule doublet attempt to walk  along the adjacent microtubule doublet, tending to force the adjacent doublets to slide relative to one another much as actin thin filaments slide during muscle contraction.

  • cilia_without_bending

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However, the presence of other links between the microtubule doublets prevents this sliding, and the dynein force is instead converted into a bending motion.

  • cilia-bending

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