Cell Discovery, 21 November, 2023, DOI：https://doi.org/10.1038/s41421-023-00606-3
In-cell structural insight into the stability of sperm microtubule doublet
Linhua Tai, Guoliang Yin, Xiaojun Huang, Fei Sun & Yun Zhu
The propulsion for mammalian sperm swimming is generated by flagella beating. Microtubule doublets (DMTs) along with microtubule inner proteins (MIPs) are essential structural blocks of flagella. However, the intricate molecular architecture of intact sperm DMT remains elusive. Here, by in situ cryo-electron tomography, we solved the in-cell structure of mouse sperm DMT at 4.5–7.5?? resolutions, and built its model with 36 kinds of MIPs in 48?nm periodicity. We identified multiple copies of Tektin5 that reinforce Tektin bundle, and multiple MIPs with different periodicities that anchor the Tektin bundle to tubulin wall. This architecture contributes to a superior stability of A-tubule than B-tubule of DMT, which was revealed by structural comparison of DMTs from the intact and deformed axonemes. Our work provides an overall molecular picture of intact sperm DMT in 48 nm periodicity that is essential to understand the molecular mechanism of sperm motility as well as the related ciliopathies.