Scaffold subunits support associated subunit assembly in the Chlamydomonas ciliary nexin-dynein regulatory complex
Mary E. Porter,
Posted 27 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/684316 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1910960116)
Posted 27 Jun 2019
The nexin-dynein regulatory complex (N-DRC) in motile cilia and flagella functions as a linker between neighboring doublet microtubules, acts to stabilize the axonemal core structure, and serves as a central hub for the regulation of ciliary motility. Although the N-DRC has been studied extensively using genetic, biochemical, and structural approaches, the precise arrangement of the eleven (or more) N-DRC subunits remains unknown. Here, using cryo-electron tomography, we have compared the structure of Chlamydomonas wild-type flagella to that of strains with specific DRC subunit deletions or rescued strains with tagged DRC subunits. Our results show that DRC7 is a central linker subunit that helps connect the N-DRC to the outer dynein arms. DRC11 is required for the assembly of DRC8, and DRC8/11 form a sub-complex in the proximal lobe of the linker domain that is required to form stable contacts to the neighboring B-tubule. Gold labeling of tagged subunits determines the precise locations of the previously ambiguous N-terminus of DRC4 which is now shown to contribute to the core scaffold of the N-DRC and C-terminus of DRC5. Our results reveal the overall architecture of N-DRC, with the three subunits, DRC1/2/4 forming a core complex that serves as the scaffold for the assembly of the functional subunits associate, namely DRC3/5-8/11. These findings shed light on N-DRC assembly and its role in regulating flagellar beating.
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