A cryo-tomography-based volumetric model of the actin core of mouse vestibular hair cell stereocilia lacking plastin 1

Junha Song, Roma Patterson, Zoltan Metlagel, Jocelyn F. Krey, Samantha Hao, Linshanshan Wang, Brian Ng, Salim Sazzed, Julio Kovacs, Willy Wriggers, Jing He, Peter G. Barr-Gillespie, Manfred Auer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Electron cryo-tomography allows for high-resolution imaging of stereocilia in their native state. Because their actin filaments have a higher degree of order, we imaged stereocilia from mice lacking the actin crosslinker plastin 1 (PLS1). We found that while stereocilia actin filaments run 13 nm apart in parallel for long distances, there were gaps of significant size that were stochastically distributed throughout the actin core. Actin crosslinkers were distributed through the stereocilium, but did not occupy all possible binding sites. At stereocilia tips, protein density extended beyond actin filaments, especially on the side of the tip where a tip link is expected to anchor. Along the shaft, repeating density was observed that corresponds to actin-to-membrane connectors. In the taper region, most actin filaments terminated near the plasma membrane. The remaining filaments twisted together to make a tighter bundle than was present in the shaft region; the spacing between them decreased from 13 nm to 9 nm, and the apparent filament diameter decreased from 6.4 to 4.8 nm. Our models illustrate detailed features of distinct structural domains that are present within the stereocilium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107461
JournalJournal of Structural Biology
Volume210
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

Keywords

  • Actin
  • Cryo-electron microscopy
  • Hair cell
  • Stereocilia
  • Volumetric model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology

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