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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cargo-Binding Makes a Wild-Type Single-Headed Myosin-VI Move Processively.

Class VI myosin is an intracellular vesicle and organelle transporter that moves along actin filaments in a direction opposite to most other known myosin classes. The myosin-VI was expected to form a dimer to move processively along actin filaments with a hand-over-hand mechanism like other myosin organelle transporters. Recently, however, wild-type myosin-VI was demonstrated to be monomer and single-headed, casting a doubt on its processivity. By using single molecule techniques, we show that green-fluorescent-protein-tagged single-headed, wild-type myosin-VI does not move processively. However, when coupled to 200-nm polystyrene beads (comparable to intracellular vesicles in size) at a ratio of one head per bead, single-headed myosin-VI moves processively with large (40-nm) steps. The characteristics of this monomer-driven movement were different to that of artificial dimer-driven movement: Compared to the artificial dimer, the monomer-bead complex had a reduced stall force (1 pN compared to 2 pN), an average run length 2.5-fold shorter (91 nm compared to 220 nm) and load-dependent step size. Furthermore, we found that a monomer-bead complex moved more processively in a high viscous solution (40-fold higher than water) similar to cellular environment. Because the diffusion constant of the bead is 60-fold lower than myosin-VI heads alone in water, we propose a model in which the bead acts as a diffusional anchor for the myosin-VI, enhancing its rebinding following detachment and supporting processive movement of the bead-monomer complexes. Although a single-headed myosin-VI was able to move processively with a large cargo, the travel distance was rather short. Multiple molecules may be involved in the cargo transport for a long travel distance in cells.[1]


  1. Cargo-Binding Makes a Wild-Type Single-Headed Myosin-VI Move Processively. Iwaki, M., Tanaka, H., Iwane, A.H., Katayama, E., Ikebe, M., Yanagida, T. Biophys. J. (2006) [Pubmed]
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