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Description

This image, produced by the freeze-fracture technique, shows regional specialization in the structure of mammalian sperm. The P-face of the plasma membrane of a guinea pig sperm tail can be divided into three zones, each with different distributions of intramembranous particles (reflecting integral membrane proteins). This image was first published in Friend and Fawcett (1974) J. Cell Biol. 63:641-64, and reprinted as Figure 5 from Chapter 1 (The Cell Surface) of 'The Cell, 2nd Ed.' by Don W. Fawcett M.D. A PDF copy of the accompanying chapter is available on the ASCB's BioEDUCATE website.

Technical Details

With freeze-fracture, tissue is rapidly frozen and cracked to shear along zones of weakness. Cleavage of membranes occurs along the hydrophobic interior of the lipid bilayer to reveal views of a "p-face" (the outwardly-facing inner half of the membrane) and an "e-face" (the inwardly-facing outer half of the membrane), and a metallic replica is made of the fractured surface.

Biological Sources

NCBI Organism Classification
Cavia porcellus
(Domesticated Guinea Pig)
Cell Type
sperm
Cellular Component
plasma membrane
plasma membrane part

Biological Context

Biological Process
fertilization
plasma membrane organization

Attribution

Names
Daniel S. Friend
Don W. Fawcett
Published
ISBN 0721635849
Links
The Cell, 2nd Ed. by D.W. Fawcett
Friend & Fawcett (1974) JCB 63:641-64.
Pubmed
4423603

Grouping

This image is part of a group.
Data Qualifiers
processed data

Sample Preparation

Methods
freeze_fracture/freeze_etch
Relation To Intact Cell
isolated subcellular component
*CIL – Cell Image Library accession number. Please use this to reference an image.