Affinity‐purified antibodies that recognize the 20,000‐dalton molecular weight (20 kd) striated flagellar root protein of Tetraselmis striata have been used to identify antigenic homologs in other eucaryotic organisms of diverse evolutionary origins. Among the green algae, Tetraselmis and Chlamydomonas, and their colorless relative, Polytomella, the 20‐kd homologs appear associated with basal bodies. This occurs most prominnently in the form of flagellar roots of both striated and microtubule subtended types. Among cultured mammalian cells (PtK2 and primary mouse macrophage cell lines), flagellar root protein homologs appear as basal feet, pericentriolar fibrils, and pericentriolar satellites. Mammalian sperm cells also show flagellar root protein homologs associated with their basal bodies. We envisage a functional role for these fibrous calcium‐sensitive contractile proteins in altering the orientation of centrioles or basal bodies with their associated MTOCs by responding to topological calcium fluxes.
- calcium‐binding proteins
- centrosome‐associated proteins
- flagellar apparatus