Tubulin glycylation controls axonemal dynein activity, flagellar beat, and male fertility
Glycylation regulates axonemal dyneins
Physiological functions of the microtubule cytoskeleton are expected to be regulated by a variety of posttranslational tubulin modifications. For instance, tubulin glycylation is almost exclusively found in cilia and flagella, but its role in the function of these organelles remains unclear. Gadadhar
now demonstrate in mice that glycylation, although nonessential for the formation of cilia and flagella, coordinates the beat waveform of sperm flagella. This activity is a prerequisite for progressive sperm swimming and thus for male fertility. At the ultrastructural level, lack of glycylation perturbed the distribution of axonemal dynein conformations, which may explain the observed defects in flagellar beat.
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