Cilia Double Tubule In Forward Stroke

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accounts for less than 5 per cent of the overall energy metabolism of the cell.

By far, the major portion of the ATP formed in the cell, about 95 per cent, is formed in the mitochondria. The pyruvic acid derived from carbohydrates, fatty acids from lipids, and amino acids from proteins are eventually converted into the compound acetyl-CoA in the matrix of the mitochondrion. This substance, in turn, is further dissoluted (for the purpose of extracting its energy) by another series of enzymes in the mitochondrion matrix, undergoing dissolution in a sequence of chemical reactions called the citric acid cycle, or Krebs cycle. These chemical reactions are so important that they are explained in detail in Chapter 67.

In this citric acid cycle, acetyl-CoA is split into its component parts, hydrogen atoms and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide diffuses out of the mitochondria and eventually out of the cell; finally, it is excreted from the body through the lungs.

The hydrogen atoms, conversely, are highly reactive, and they combine instantly with oxygen that has also diffused into the mitochondria. This releases a tremendous amount of energy, which is used by the mitochondria to convert very large amounts of ADP to ATP. The processes of these reactions are complex, requiring the participation of large numbers of protein enzymes that are integral parts of mitochondrial membranous shelves that protrude into the mitochondrial matrix. The initial event is removal of an electron from the hydrogen atom, thus converting it to a hydrogen ion. The terminal event is combination of hydrogen ions with oxygen to form water plus the release of tremendous amounts of energy to large globular proteins, called ATP synthetase, that protrude like knobs from the membranes of the mitochondrial shelves. Finally, the enzyme ATP synthetase uses the energy from the hydrogen ions to cause the conversion of ADP to ATP. The newly formed ATP is transported out of the mitochondria into all parts of the cell cytoplasm and nucleoplasm, where its energy is used to energize multiple cell functions.

This overall process for formation of ATP is called the chemiosmotic mechanism of ATP formation. The chemical and physical details of this mechanism are presented in Chapter 67, and many of the detailed metabolic functions of ATP in the body are presented in Chapters 67 through 71.

Uses of ATP for Cellular Function. Energy from ATP is used to promote three major categories of cellular functions: (1) transport of substances through multiple membranes in the cell, (2) synthesis of chemical compounds throughout the cell, and (3) mechanical work. These uses of ATP are illustrated by examples in Figure 2-15: (1) to supply energy for the transport of sodium through the cell membrane, (2) to promote protein synthesis by the ribosomes, and (3) to supply the energy needed during muscle contraction.

In addition to membrane transport of sodium, energy from ATP is required for membrane transport of potassium ions, calcium ions, magnesium ions, phos-

Muscle contraction

Figure 2-15

Use of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (formed in the mitochondrion) to provide energy for three major cellular functions: membrane transport, protein synthesis, and muscle contraction. ADP, adenosine diphosphate.

phate ions, chloride ions, urate ions, hydrogen ions, and many other ions and various organic substances. Membrane transport is so important to cell function that some cells—the renal tubular cells, for instance— use as much as 80 per cent of the ATP that they form for this purpose alone.

In addition to synthesizing proteins, cells synthesize phospholipids, cholesterol, purines, pyrimidines, and a host of other substances. Synthesis of almost any chemical compound requires energy. For instance, a single protein molecule might be composed of as many as several thousand amino acids attached to one another by peptide linkages; the formation of each of these linkages requires energy derived from the breakdown of four high-energy bonds; thus, many thousand ATP molecules must release their energy as each protein molecule is formed. Indeed, some cells use as much as 75 per cent of all the ATP formed in the cell simply to synthesize new chemical compounds, especially protein molecules; this is particularly true during the growth phase of cells.

The final major use of ATP is to supply energy for special cells to perform mechanical work. We see in Chapter 6 that each contraction of a muscle fiber requires expenditure of tremendous quantities of ATP energy. Other cells perform mechanical work in other ways, especially by ciliary and ameboid motion, which are described later in this chapter. The source of energy for all these types of mechanical work is ATP.

In summary, ATP is always available to release its energy rapidly and almost explosively wherever in the cell it is needed. To replace the ATP used by the cell, much slower chemical reactions break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and use the energy derived from these to form new ATP. More than 95 per cent of this ATP is formed in the mitochondria, which accounts for the mitochondria being called the "powerhouses" of the cell.

Locomotion of Cells

By far the most important type of movement that occurs in the body is that of the muscle cells in skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle, which constitute almost 50 per cent of the entire body mass. The specialized functions of these cells are discussed in Chapters 6 through 9. Two other types of movement—ameboid locomotion and ciliary movement—occur in other cells.

Ameboid Movement

Ameboid movement is movement of an entire cell in relation to its surroundings, such as movement of white blood cells through tissues. It receives its name from the fact that amebae move in this manner and have provided an excellent tool for studying the phenomenon.

Typically, ameboid locomotion begins with protrusion of a pseudopodium from one end of the cell. The pseudopodium projects far out, away from the cell body, and partially secures itself in a new tissue area. Then the remainder of the cell is pulled toward the pseudopodium. Figure 2-16 demonstrates this process, showing an elongated cell, the right-hand end of which is a protruding pseudopodium. The membrane of this end of the cell is continually moving forward, and the membrane at the left-hand end of the cell is continually following along as the cell moves.

Mechanism of Ameboid Locomotion. Figure 2-16 shows the general principle of ameboid motion. Basically, it results from continual formation of new cell membrane at the leading edge of the pseudopodium and continual absorption of the membrane in mid and rear portions of the cell. Also, two other effects are essential for forward movement of the cell. The first effect is attachment of the pseudopodium to surrounding tissues so that it becomes fixed in its leading position, while the

Ameboid Locomotion Picture
Ameboid motion by a cell.

remainder of the cell body is pulled forward toward the point of attachment. This attachment is effected by receptor proteins that line the insides of exocytotic vesi-cles.When the vesicles become part of the pseudopodial membrane, they open so that their insides evert to the outside, and the receptors now protrude to the outside and attach to ligands in the surrounding tissues.

At the opposite end of the cell, the receptors pull away from their ligands and form new endocytotic vesicles. Then, inside the cell, these vesicles stream toward the pseudopodial end of the cell, where they are used to form still new membrane for the pseudopodium.

The second essential effect for locomotion is to provide the energy required to pull the cell body in the direction of the pseudopodium. Experiments suggest the following as an explanation: In the cytoplasm of all cells is a moderate to large amount of the protein actin. Much of the actin is in the form of single molecules that do not provide any motive power; however, these polymerize to form a filamentous network, and the network contracts when it binds with an actin-binding protein such as myosin. The whole process is energized by the high-energy compound ATP. This is what happens in the pseudopodium of a moving cell, where such a network of actin filaments forms anew inside the enlarging pseudopodium. Contraction also occurs in the ectoplasm of the cell body, where a preexisting actin network is already present beneath the cell membrane.

Types of Cells That Exhibit Ameboid Locomotion. The most common cells to exhibit ameboid locomotion in the human body are the white blood cells when they move out of the blood into the tissues in the form of tissue macrophages. Other types of cells can also move by ameboid locomotion under certain circumstances. For instance, fibroblasts move into a damaged area to help repair the damage, and even the germinal cells of the skin, though ordinarily completely sessile cells, move toward a cut area to repair the rent. Finally, cell locomotion is especially important in development of the embryo and fetus after fertilization of an ovum. For instance, embryonic cells often must migrate long distances from their sites of origin to new areas during development of special structures.

Control of Ameboid Locomotion—Chemotaxis. The most important initiator of ameboid locomotion is the process called chemotaxis. This results from the appearance of certain chemical substances in the tissues. Any chemical substance that causes chemotaxis to occur is called a chemotactic substance. Most cells that exhibit ameboid locomotion move toward the source of a chemotactic substance—that is, from an area of lower concentration toward an area of higher con-centration—which is called positive chemotaxis. Some cells move away from the source, which is called negative chemotaxis.

But how does chemotaxis control the direction of ameboid locomotion? Although the answer is not certain, it is known that the side of the cell most exposed to the chemotactic substance develops membrane changes that cause pseudopodial protrusion.

Cilia and Ciliary Movements

A second type of cellular motion, ciliary movement, is a whiplike movement of cilia on the surfaces of cells. This

a o Filament -

Basal plate -


o Filament -

Basal plate -



Cross section

Forward stroke

Forward stroke

Backward stroke

Backward stroke


Figure 2-17

Structure and function of the cilium. (Modified from Satir P: Cilia. Sci Am 204:108, 1961. Copyright Donald Garber: Executor of the estate of Bunji Tagawa.)

occurs in only two places in the human body: on the sufaces of the respiratory airways and on the inside surfaces of the uterine tubes (fallopian tubes) of the reproductive tract. In the nasal cavity and lower respiratory airways, the whiplike motion of cilia causes a layer of mucus to move at a rate of about 1 cm/min toward the pharynx, in this way continually clearing these passageways of mucus and particles that have become trapped in the mucus. In the uterine tubes, the cilia cause slow movement of fluid from the ostium of the uterine tube toward the uterus cavity; this movement of fluid transports the ovum from the ovary to the uterus.

As shown in Figure 2-17, a cilium has the appearance of a sharp-pointed straight or curved hair that projects 2 to 4 micrometers from the surface of the cell. Many cilia often project from a single cell—for instance, as many as 200 cilia on the surface of each epithelial cell inside the respiratory passageways. The cilium is covered by an outcropping of the cell membrane, and it is supported by 11 microtubules—9 double tubules located around the periphery of the cilium, and 2 single tubules down the center, as demonstrated in the cross section shown in Figure 2-17. Each cilium is an outgrowth of a structure that lies immediately beneath the cell membrane, called the basal body of the cilium.

The flagellum of a sperm is similar to a cilium; in fact, it has much the same type of structure and same type of contractile mechanism. The flagellum, however, is much longer and moves in quasi-sinusoidal waves instead of whiplike movements.

In the inset of Figure 2-17, movement of the cilium is shown. The cilium moves forward with a sudden, rapid whiplike stroke 10 to 20 times per second, bending sharply where it projects from the surface of the cell. Then it moves backward slowly to its initial position. The rapid forward-thrusting, whiplike movement pushes the fluid lying adjacent to the cell in the direction that the cilium moves; the slow, dragging movement in the backward direction has almost no effect on fluid movement. As a result, the fluid is continually propelled in the direction of the fast-forward stroke. Because most ciliated cells have large numbers of cilia on their surfaces and because all the cilia are oriented in the same direction, this is an effective means for moving fluids from one part of the surface to another.

Mechanism of Ciliary Movement. Although not all aspects of ciliary movement are clear, we do know the following: First, the nine double tubules and the two single tubules are all linked to one another by a complex of protein cross-linkages; this total complex of tubules and cross-linkages is called the axoneme. Second, even after removal of the membrane and destruction of other elements of the cilium besides the axoneme, the cilium can still beat under appropriate conditions. Third, there are two necessary conditions for continued beating of the axoneme after removal of the other structures of the cilium: (1) the availability of ATP and (2) appropriate ionic conditions, especially appropriate concentrations of magnesium and calcium. Fourth, during forward motion of the cilium, the double tubules on the front edge of the cilium slide outward toward the tip of the cilium, while those on the back edge remain in place. Fifth, multiple protein arms composed of the protein dynein, which has ATPase enzymatic activity, project from each double tubule toward an adjacent double tubule.

Given this basic information, it has been determined that the release of energy from ATP in contact with the ATPase dynein arms causes the heads of these arms to "crawl" rapidly along the surface of the adjacent double tubule. If the front tubules crawl outward while the back tubules remain stationary, this will cause bending.

The way in which cilia contraction is controlled is not understood. The cilia of some genetically abnormal cells do not have the two central single tubules, and these cilia fail to beat. Therefore, it is presumed that some signal, perhaps an electrochemical signal, is transmitted along these two central tubules to activate the dynein arms.


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