MSP dynamics and retraction in nematode sperm

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Most eukaryotic cells can crawl over surfaces. In general, this motility requires three distinct actions: polymerization at the leading edge, adhesion to the substrate, and retraction at the rear. Recent in vitro experiments with extracts from spermatozoa from the nematode Ascaris suum suggest that retraction forces are generated by depolymerization of the Major Sperm Protein (MSP) cytoskeleton. Combining polymer entropy with a simple kinetic model for disassembly I propose a model for disassembly-induced retraction that fit the in vitro experimental data. This model explains the mechanism by which deconstruction of the cytoskeleton produces the force necessary to pull the cell body forward and suggest further experiments that can test the validity of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Mar 31 2005
EventInternational Symposium on Interdisciplinary Science, ISIS - Natchitoches, LA, United States
Duration: Oct 6 2004Oct 8 2004


  • Cell motility
  • Gel
  • MSP
  • Major sperm protein
  • Mathematical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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