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1.  Myosins VIII and XI Play Distinct Roles in Reproduction and Transport of Tobacco Mosaic Virus 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(10):e1004448.
Viruses are obligatory parasites that depend on host cellular factors for their replication as well as for their local and systemic movement to establish infection. Although myosin motors are thought to contribute to plant virus infection, their exact roles in the specific infection steps have not been addressed. Here we investigated the replication, cell-to-cell and systemic spread of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) using dominant negative inhibition of myosin activity. We found that interference with the functions of three class VIII myosins and two class XI myosins significantly reduced the local and long-distance transport of the virus. We further determined that the inactivation of myosins XI-2 and XI-K affected the structure and dynamic behavior of the ER leading to aggregation of the viral movement protein (MP) and to a delay in the MP accumulation in plasmodesmata (PD). The inactivation of myosin XI-2 but not of myosin XI-K affected the localization pattern of the 126k replicase subunit and the level of TMV accumulation. The inhibition of myosins VIII-1, VIII-2 and VIII-B abolished MP localization to PD and caused its retention at the plasma membrane. These results suggest that class XI myosins contribute to the viral propagation and intracellular trafficking, whereas myosins VIII are specifically required for the MP targeting to and virus movement through the PD. Thus, TMV appears to recruit distinct myosins for different steps in the cell-to-cell spread of the infection.
Author Summary
Viruses are parasites that require the host cell machinery for their propagation within and between cells. Myosins are molecular motors involved in the trafficking of cargos along actin filaments. Plant viruses have evolved to borrow this transport mechanism to aid their infection and spread within the plant. However, little is known about which of the many plant myosins are essential and at which specific steps they act to support virus infection. Here we investigated the role of different N. benthamiana myosins during the infection by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Our results show that class XI myosins play specific roles in the reproduction and intracellular movement of TMV in association with the dynamic endoplasmic reticulum network, whereas class VIII myosins support the specific targeting of the viral movement protein to plasmodesmata and thus the cell-to-cell movement of the virus. Together these results indicate that TMV interacts with distinct myosins during specific infection steps.
PMCID: PMC4199776  PMID: 25329993
2.  Different subcellular localizations and functions of Arabidopsis myosin VIII 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:3.
Myosins are actin-activated ATPases that use energy to generate force and move along actin filaments, dragging with their tails different cargos. Plant myosins belong to the group of unconventional myosins and Arabidopsis myosin VIII gene family contains four members: ATM1, ATM2, myosin VIIIA and myosin VIIIB.
In transgenic plants expressing GFP fusions with ATM1 (IQ-tail truncation, lacking the head domain), fluorescence was differentially distributed: while in epidermis cells at the root cap GFP-ATM1 equally distributed all over the cell, in epidermal cells right above this region it accumulated in dots. Further up, in cells of the elongation zone, GFP-ATM1 was preferentially positioned at the sides of transversal cell walls. Interestingly, the punctate pattern was insensitive to brefeldin A (BFA) while in some cells closer to the root cap, ATM1 was found in BFA bodies. With the use of different markers and transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, it was found that myosin VIII co-localized to the plasmodesmata and ER, colocalized with internalized FM4-64, and partially overlapped with the endosomal markers ARA6, and rarely with ARA7 and FYVE. Motility of ARA6 labeled organelles was inhibited whenever associated with truncated ATM1 but motility of FYVE labeled organelles was inhibited only when associated with large excess of ATM1. Furthermore, GFP-ATM1 and RFP-ATM2 (IQ-tail domain) co-localized to the same spots on the plasma membrane, indicating a specific composition at these sites for myosin binding.
Taken together, our data suggest that myosin VIII functions differently in different root cells and can be involved in different steps of endocytosis, BFA-sensitive and insensitive pathways, ER tethering and plasmodesmatal activity.
PMCID: PMC2275265  PMID: 18179725
3.  Association of six YFP-myosin XI-tail fusions with mobile plant cell organelles 
BMC Plant Biology  2007;7:6.
Myosins are molecular motors that carry cargo on actin filaments in eukaryotic cells. Seventeen myosin genes have been identified in the nuclear genome of Arabidopsis. The myosin genes can be divided into two plant-specific subfamilies, class VIII with four members and class XI with 13 members. Class XI myosins are related to animal and fungal myosin class V that are responsible for movement of particular vesicles and organelles. Organelle localization of only one of the 13 Arabidopsis myosin XI (myosin XI-6; At MYA2), which is found on peroxisomes, has so far been reported. Little information is available concerning the remaining 12 class XI myosins.
We investigated 6 of the 13 class XI Arabidopsis myosins. cDNAs corresponding to the tail region of 6 myosin genes were generated and incorporated into a vector to encode YFP-myosin tail fusion proteins lacking the motor domain. Chimeric genes incorporating tail regions of myosin XI-5 (At MYA1), myosin XI-6 (At MYA2), myosin XI-8 (At XI-B), myosin XI-15 (At XI-I), myosin XI-16 (At XI-J) and myosin XI-17 (At XI-K) were expressed transiently. All YFP-myosin-tail fusion proteins were targeted to small organelles ranging in size from 0.5 to 3.0 μm. Despite the absence of a motor domain, the fluorescently-labeled organelles were motile in most cells. Tail cropping experiments demonstrated that the coiled-coil region was required for specific localization and shorter tail regions were inadequate for targeting. Myosin XI-6 (At MYA2), previously reported to localize to peroxisomes by immunofluorescence, labeled both peroxisomes and vesicles when expressed as a YFP-tail fusion. None of the 6 YFP-myosin tail fusions interacted with chloroplasts, and only one YFP-tail fusion appeared to sometimes co-localize with fluorescent proteins targeted to Golgi and mitochondria.
6 myosin XI tails, extending from the coiled-coil region to the C-terminus, label specific vesicles and/or organelles when transiently expressed as YFP fusions in plant cells. Although comparable constructs lacking the motor domain result in a dominant negative effect on organelle motility in animal systems, the plant organelles remained motile. YFP-myosin tail fusions provide specific labeling for vesicles of unknown composition, whose identity can be investigated in future studies.
PMCID: PMC1802837  PMID: 17288617
4.  Analysis of the myosins encoded in the recently completed Arabidopsis thaliana genome sequence 
Genome Biology  2001;2(7):research0024.1-research0024.17.
Three types of molecular motors play an important role in the organization, dynamics and transport processes associated with the cytoskeleton. The myosin family of molecular motors move cargo on actin filaments, whereas kinesin and dynein motors move cargo along microtubules. These motors have been highly characterized in non-plant systems and information is becoming available about plant motors. The actin cytoskeleton in plants has been shown to be involved in processes such as transportation, signaling, cell division, cytoplasmic streaming and morphogenesis. The role of myosin in these processes has been established in a few cases but many questions remain to be answered about the number, types and roles of myosins in plants.
Using the motor domain of an Arabidopsis myosin we identified 17 myosin sequences in the Arabidopsis genome. Phylogenetic analysis of the Arabidopsis myosins with non-plant and plant myosins revealed that all the Arabidopsis myosins and other plant myosins fall into two groups - class VIII and class XI. These groups contain exclusively plant or algal myosins with no animal or fungal myosins. Exon/intron data suggest that the myosins are highly conserved and that some may be a result of gene duplication.
Plant myosins are unlike myosins from any other organisms except algae. As a percentage of the total gene number, the number of myosins is small overall in Arabidopsis compared with the other sequenced eukaryotic genomes. There are, however, a large number of class XI myosins. The function of each myosin has yet to be determined.
PMCID: PMC55321  PMID: 11516337
5.  Head-neck domain of Arabidopsis myosin XI, MYA2, fused with GFP produces F-actin patterns that coincide with fast organelle streaming in different plant cells 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:74.
The cytoskeletal mechanisms that underlie organelle transport in plants are intimately linked to acto-myosin function. This function is mediated by the attachment of myosin heads to F-actin and the binding of cargo to the tails. Acto-myosin also powers vigorous cytoplasmic streaming in plant cells. Class XI myosins exhibit strikingly fast velocities and may have extraordinary roles in cellular motility. Studies of the structural basis of organelle transport have focused on the cargo-binding tails of myosin XI, revealing a close relationship with the transport of peroxisomes, mitochondria, and Golgi-vesicles. Links between myosin heads and F-actin-based motility have been less investigated. To address this function, we performed localization studies using the head-neck domain of AtMYA2, a myosin XI from Arabidopsis.
We expressed the GFP-fused head-neck domain of MYA2 in epidermal cells of various plant species and found that it associated with F-actin. By comparison to other markers such as fimbrin and talin, we revealed that the myosin-labeled F-actin was of a lower quality and absent from the fine microfilament arrays at the cell cortex. However, it colocalized with cytoplasmic (transvacuolar) F-actin in areas coinciding with the tracks of fast organelles. This observation correlates well with the proposed function of myosin XI in organelle trafficking. The fact that organelle streaming was reduced in cells expressing the GFP-MYA2-head6IQ indicated that the functionless motor protein inhibits endogenous myosins. Furthermore, co-expression of the GFP-MYA2-head6IQ with other F-actin markers disrupted its attachment to F-actin. In nuclei, the GFP-myosin associated with short bundles of F-actin.
The localization of the head of MYA2 in living plant cells, as investigated here for the first time, suggests a close linkage between this myosin XI and cytoplasmic microfilaments that support the rapid streaming of organelles such as peroxisomes. Potential roles of MYA2 may also exist in the cell nucleus. Whether the low quality of the F-actin-labeling by MYA2-head6IQ compared to other F-actin-binding proteins (ABPs) signifies a weak association of the myosin with actin filaments remains to be proven by other means than in vivo. Clues for the mode of contact between the myosin molecules and F-actin so far cannot be drawn from sequence-related data.
PMCID: PMC2504477  PMID: 18598361
6.  Arabidopsis myosin XI sub-domains homologous to the yeast myo2p organelle inheritance sub-domain target subcellular structures in plant cells 
Myosin XI motor proteins transport plant organelles on the actin cytoskeleton. The Arabidopsis gene family that encodes myosin XI has 13 members, 12 of which have sub-domains within the tail region that are homologous to well-characterized cargo-binding domains in the yeast myosin V myo2p. Little is presently known about the cargo-binding domains of plant myosin XIs. Prior experiments in which most or all of the tail regions of myosin XIs have been fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and transiently expressed have often not resulted in fluorescent labeling of plant organelles. We identified 42 amino-acid regions within 12 Arabidopsis myosin XIs that are homologous to the yeast myo2p tail region known to be essential for vacuole and mitochondrial inheritance. A YFP fusion of the yeast region expressed in plants did not label tonoplasts or mitochondria. We investigated whether the homologous Arabidopsis regions, termed by us the “PAL” sub-domain, could associate with subcellular structures following transient expression of fusions with YFP in Nicotiana benthamiana. Seven YFP::PAL sub-domain fusions decorated Golgi and six were localized to mitochondria. In general, the myosin XI PAL sub-domains labeled organelles whose motility had previously been observed to be affected by mutagenesis or dominant negative assays with the respective myosins. Simultaneous transient expression of the PAL sub-domains of myosin XI-H, XI-I, and XI-K resulted in inhibition of movement of mitochondria and Golgi.
PMCID: PMC3807578  PMID: 24187546
yeast myo2p; myosin V; transient expression; Golgi; mitochondria; vacuole; confocal microscopy; Nicotiana benthamiana
7.  Plant-Specific Myosin XI, a Molecular Perspective 
In eukaryotic cells, organelle movement, positioning, and communications are critical for maintaining cellular functions and are highly regulated by intracellular trafficking. Directional movement of motor proteins along the cytoskeleton is one of the key regulators of such trafficking. Most plants have developed a unique actin–myosin system for intracellular trafficking. Although the composition of myosin motors in angiosperms is limited to plant-specific myosin classes VIII and XI, there are large families of myosins, especially in class XI, suggesting functional diversification among class XI members. However, the molecular properties and regulation of each myosin XI member remains unclear. To achieve a better understanding of the plant-specific actin–myosin system, the characterization of myosin XI members at the molecular level is essential. In the first half of this review, we summarize the molecular properties of tobacco 175-kDa myosin XI, and in the later half, we focus on myosin XI members in Arabidopsis thaliana. Through detailed comparison of the functional domains of these myosins with the functional domain of myosin V, we look for possible diversification in enzymatic and mechanical properties among myosin XI members concomitant with their regulation.
PMCID: PMC3437519  PMID: 22973289
myosin XI; cytoplasmic streaming; intracellular transport; plants
8.  Tubule-Guided Cell-to-Cell Movement of a Plant Virus Requires Class XI Myosin Motors 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(10):e1002327.
Cell-to-cell movement of plant viruses occurs via plasmodesmata (PD), organelles that evolved to facilitate intercellular communications. Viral movement proteins (MP) modify PD to allow passage of the virus particles or nucleoproteins. This passage occurs via several distinct mechanisms one of which is MP-dependent formation of the tubules that traverse PD and provide a conduit for virion translocation. The MP of tubule-forming viruses including Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) recruit the plant PD receptors called Plasmodesmata Located Proteins (PDLP) to mediate tubule assembly and virus movement. Here we show that PDLP1 is transported to PD through a specific route within the secretory pathway in a myosin-dependent manner. This transport relies primarily on the class XI myosins XI-K and XI-2. Inactivation of these myosins using dominant negative inhibition results in mislocalization of PDLP and MP and suppression of GFLV movement. We also found that the proper targeting of specific markers of the Golgi apparatus, the plasma membrane, PD, lipid raft subdomains within the plasma membrane, and the tonoplast was not affected by myosin XI-K inhibition. However, the normal tonoplast dynamics required myosin XI-K activity. These results reveal a new pathway of the myosin-dependent protein trafficking to PD that is hijacked by GFLV to promote tubule-guided transport of this virus between plant cells.
Author Summary
To establish infection, plant viruses spread cell-to-cell via narrow channels in the cell wall, the plasmodesmata (PD). Movement proteins (MP) are virus-encoded proteins essential for virus intercellular transport through PD. Plasmodesmata located plant proteins (PDLPs), are specifically recognised by the MPs of tubule-forming viruses. Here we show that PDLP targeting to PD depends on the molecular motors myosin XI-K and XI-2. Consistently, and in support of a function of PDLP as PD receptor for MP, overexpression of dominant negative myosin mutants inhibits tubule formation by Grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) MP and dramatically reduces virus movement.
PMCID: PMC3203191  PMID: 22046131
9.  Contribution of Host Intracellular Transport Machineries to Intercellular Movement of Turnip Mosaic Virus 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(10):e1003683.
The contribution of different host cell transport systems in the intercellular movement of turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) was investigated. To discriminate between primary infections and secondary infections associated with the virus intercellular movement, a gene cassette expressing GFP-HDEL was inserted adjacent to a TuMV infectious cassette expressing 6K2:mCherry, both within the T-DNA borders of the binary vector pCambia. In this system, both gene cassettes were delivered to the same cell by a single binary vector and primary infection foci emitted green and red fluorescence while secondarily infected cells emitted only red fluorescence. Intercellular movement was measured at 72 hours post infiltration and was estimated to proceed at an average rate of one cell being infected every three hours over an observation period of 17 hours. To determine if the secretory pathway were important for TuMV intercellular movement, chemical and protein inhibitors that blocked both early and late secretory pathways were used. Treatment with Brefeldin A or Concanamycin A or expression of ARF1 or RAB-E1d dominant negative mutants, all of which inhibit pre- or post-Golgi transport, reduced intercellular movement by the virus. These treatments, however, did not inhibit virus replication in primary infected cells. Pharmacological interference assays using Tyrphostin A23 or Wortmannin showed that endocytosis was not important for TuMV intercellular movement. Lack of co-localization by endocytosed FM4-64 and Ara7 (AtRabF2b) with TuMV-induced 6K2-tagged vesicles further supported this conclusion. Microfilament depolymerizing drugs and silencing expression of myosin XI-2 gene, but not myosin VIII genes, also inhibited TuMV intercellular movement. Expression of dominant negative myosin mutants confirmed the role played by myosin XI-2 as well as by myosin XI-K in TuMV intercellular movement. Using this dual gene cassette expression system and transport inhibitors, components of the secretory and actomyosin machinery were shown to be important for TuMV intercellular spread.
Author Summary
Plant viruses move from the initially infected cell to neighboring cells during local movement and then over long distances through vascular tissue to establish a systemic infection in the plant. Virus intercellular transport requires viral and host factors to move viral RNA-protein complexes through plasmodesmata (PDs). Virus intercellular movement is normally assessed by assays that cannot always differentiate between reduced viral RNA replication and intercellular movement. By using a dual cassette of genes encoding fluorescent proteins that can differentiate between primary infected cells and cells infected after intercellular transport, we provide evidence that turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) needs a functional secretory pathway where pre- and post-Golgi trafficking and the actomyosin network are important for its movement. Interestingly, disruption of these host transport machineries had no impact on TuMV accumulation in initially infected cells. These results support the idea that virus replication activities can be influenced separately from those involved in other virus activities such as movement, although aspects of both are likely coordinated.
PMCID: PMC3789768  PMID: 24098128
10.  A Myo6 Mutation Destroys Coordination between the Myosin Heads, Revealing New Functions of Myosin VI in the Stereocilia of Mammalian Inner Ear Hair Cells 
PLoS Genetics  2008;4(10):e1000207.
Myosin VI, found in organisms from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans, is essential for auditory and vestibular function in mammals, since genetic mutations lead to hearing impairment and vestibular dysfunction in both humans and mice. Here, we show that a missense mutation in this molecular motor in an ENU-generated mouse model, Tailchaser, disrupts myosin VI function. Structural changes in the Tailchaser hair bundles include mislocalization of the kinocilia and branching of stereocilia. Transfection of GFP-labeled myosin VI into epithelial cells and delivery of endocytic vesicles to the early endosome revealed that the mutant phenotype displays disrupted motor function. The actin-activated ATPase rates measured for the D179Y mutation are decreased, and indicate loss of coordination of the myosin VI heads or ‘gating’ in the dimer form. Proper coordination is required for walking processively along, or anchoring to, actin filaments, and is apparently destroyed by the proximity of the mutation to the nucleotide-binding pocket. This loss of myosin VI function may not allow myosin VI to transport its cargoes appropriately at the base and within the stereocilia, or to anchor the membrane of stereocilia to actin filaments via its cargos, both of which lead to structural changes in the stereocilia of myosin VI–impaired hair cells, and ultimately leading to deafness.
Author Summary
Human deafness is extremely heterogeneous, with mutations in over 50 genes known to be associated with this common form of sensory loss. Among them, mutations in five myosins are associated with human hereditary hearing impairment, demonstrating that this family of proteins is essential for the proper function of the inner ear. Myosins, motor proteins found in eukaryotic cells, are responsible for actin-based motility. Composed of a motor domain and a tail, the former binds filamentous actin and uses ATP hydrolysis to generate force and move along the filaments, while the latter binds to cargos in the cell. Myosin VI is unique among myosins due to its movement along actin towards the minus or pointed end, rather than the positive or barbed end. Mutations in this myosin are associated with human deafness. Much of our information regarding myosin VI comes from studies in cell culture or mouse mutants with mutations leading to deafness. Here, we describe a deaf mouse mutant, Tailchaser, with a mutation in myosin VI. Our data describe new functions for myosin VI in the hair cells of the inner ear, showing how alterations in this motor can lead to a human sensory disorder.
PMCID: PMC2543112  PMID: 18833301
11.  Thirteen is enough: the myosins of Dictyostelium discoideum and their light chains 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:183.
Dictyostelium discoideum is one of the most famous model organisms for studying motile processes like cell movement, organelle transport, cytokinesis, and endocytosis. Members of the myosin superfamily, that move on actin filaments and power many of these tasks, are tripartite proteins consisting of a conserved catalytic domain followed by the neck region consisting of a different number of so-called IQ motifs for binding of light chains. The tails contain functional motifs that are responsible for the accomplishment of the different tasks in the cell. Unicellular organisms like yeasts contain three to five myosins while vertebrates express over 40 different myosin genes. Recently, the question has been raised how many myosins a simple multicellular organism like Dictyostelium would need to accomplish all the different motility-related tasks.
The analysis of the Dictyostelium genome revealed thirteen myosins of which three have not been described before. The phylogenetic analysis of the motor domains of the new myosins placed Myo1F to the class-I myosins and Myo5A to the class-V myosins. The third new myosin, an orphan myosin, has been named MyoG. It contains an N-terminal extension of over 400 residues, and a tail consisting of four IQ motifs and two MyTH4/FERM (myosin tail homology 4/band 4.1, ezrin, radixin, and moesin) tandem domains that are separated by a long region containing an SH3 (src homology 3) domain. In contrast to previous analyses, an extensive comparison with 126 class-VII, class-X, class-XV, and class-XXII myosins now showed that MyoI does not group into any of these classes and should not be used as a model for class-VII myosins.
The search for calmodulin related proteins revealed two further potential myosin light chains. One is a close homolog of the two EF-hand motifs containing MlcB, and the other, CBP14, phylogenetically groups to the ELC/RLC/calmodulin (essential light chain/regulatory light chain) branch of the tree.
Dictyostelium contains thirteen myosins together with 6–8 MLCs (myosin light chain) to assist in a variety of actin-based processes in the cell. Although they are homologous to myosins of higher eukaryotes, the myosins of Dictyostelium should be considered with care as models for specific functions of vertebrate myosins.
PMCID: PMC1634994  PMID: 16857047
12.  Myosin VIII associates with microtubule ends and together with actin plays a role in guiding plant cell division 
eLife  2014;3:e03498.
Plant cells divide using the phragmoplast, a microtubule-based structure that directs vesicles secretion to the nascent cell plate. The phragmoplast forms at the cell center and expands to reach a specified site at the cell periphery, tens or hundreds of microns distant. The mechanism responsible for guiding the phragmoplast remains largely unknown. Here, using both moss and tobacco, we show that myosin VIII associates with the ends of phragmoplast microtubules and together with actin plays a role in guiding phragmoplast expansion to the cortical division site. Our data lead to a model whereby myosin VIII links phragmoplast microtubules to the cortical division site via actin filaments. Myosin VIII's motor activity along actin provides a molecular mechanism for steering phragmoplast expansion.
eLife digest
Plant cells are surrounded by a membrane, which controls what enters and leaves the cell, and a cell wall, which provides rigidity. When a plant cell is ready to divide, it needs to produce two new cell membranes, with a new cell wall sandwiched between them, to split the cell contents into two daughter cells.
During the division process the cell builds a scaffold called the phragmoplast that guides the delivery of the materials that are needed to make the new cell wall and membranes. The phragmoplast—which is made of rod-like proteins called microtubules and actin filaments—starts at the centre of the cell and expands towards a pre-determined site on the existing cell wall. The question is: how does the phragmoplast target this site, which can be tens or hundreds of microns away?
Wu and Bezanilla have now found that a protein called myosin VIII has a central role in guiding the growing phragmoplast to the cell wall. Myosin VIII is a motor protein that moves along actin filaments. Wu and Bezanilla propose that myosin VIII can guide the expansion of the phragmoplast by pulling microtubules along the actin filaments.
The experiments were carried out on two distantly-related plant species, tobacco and a moss called Physcomitrella patens. Similar results were found in both species so it is possible that myosin VIII may play the same role in cell division in all plants.
PMCID: PMC4171706  PMID: 25247701
Physcomitrella patens; tobacco BY-2; phragmoplast; actin; microtubules; myosin; none
13.  Myosin XIK is a major player in cytoplasm dynamics and is regulated by two amino acids in its tail 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;63(1):241-249.
It has recently been found that among the 17 Arabidopsis myosins, six (XIC, XIE, XIK, XI-I, MYA1, and MYA2) have a major role in the motility of Golgi bodies and mitochondria in Nicotiana benthamiana and Nicotiana tabacum. Here, the same dominant negative tail fragments were also found to arrest the movement of Gogi bodies when transiently expressed in Arabidopsis plants. However, when a Golgi marker was transiently expressed in plants knocked out in these myosins, its movement was dramatically inhibited only in the xik mutant. In addition, a tail fragment of myosin XIK could inhibit the movement of several post-Golgi organelles, such as the trans-Golgi network, pre-vacuolar compartment, and endosomes, as well as total cytoplasmic streaming, suggesting that myosin XIK is a major player in cytoplasm kinetics. However, no co-localization of myosin tails with the arrested organelles was observed. Several deletion truncations of the myosin XIK tail were generated to corroborate function with localization. All deletion mutants possessing an inhibitory effect on organelle movement exhibited a diffuse cytoplasmic distribution. Point mutations in the tail of myosin XIK revealed that Arg1368 and Arg1443 are essential for its activity. These residues correspond to Lys1706 and Lys1779 from mouse myosin Va, which mediate the inhibitory head–tail interaction in this myosin. Therefore, such an interaction might underlie the dominant negative effect of truncated plant myosin tails and explain the mislocalization with target organelles.
PMCID: PMC3245463  PMID: 21914656
Arabidopsis thaliana; Golgi; myosin XIK; Nicotiana benthamiana
14.  Analysis of Organelle Targeting by DIL Domains of the Arabidopsis Myosin XI Family 
The Arabidopsis thaliana genome encodes 13 myosin XI motor proteins. Previous insertional mutant analysis has implicated substantial redundancy of function of plant myosin XIs in transport of intracellular organelles. Considerable information is available about the interaction of cargo with the myosin XI-homologous yeast myosin V protein myo2p. We identified a region in each of 12 myosin XI sequences that correspond to the yeast myo2p secretory-vesicle binding domain (the “DIL” domain). Structural modeling of the myosin DIL domain region of plant myosin XIs revealed significant similarity to the yeast myo2p and myo4p DIL domains. Transient expression of YFP fusions with the Arabidopsis myosin XI DIL domain resulted in fluorescent labeling of a variety of organelles, including the endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, Golgi, and nuclear envelope. With the exception of the YFP::MYA1 DIL fusion, expression of the DIL–YFP fusions resulted in loss of motility of labeled organelles, consistent with a dominant-negative effect. Certain fusions resulted in localization to the cytoplasm, plasma membrane, or to unidentified vesicles. The same YFP-domain fusion sometimes labeled more than one organelle. Expression of a YFP fusion to a yeast myo2p DIL domain resulted in labeling of plant peroxisomes. Fusions with some of the myosin XI domains resulted in labeling of known cargoes of the particular myosin XI; however, certain myosin XI YFP fusions labeled organelles that had not previously been found to be detectably affected by mutations nor by expression of dominant-negative constructs.
PMCID: PMC3355782  PMID: 22645548
Arabidopsis; myosin XI; yeast; myo2p; DIL domain; dominant-negative; fluorescent protein; vesicles
15.  Evolutionary traces decode molecular mechanism behind fast pace of myosin XI 
Cytoplasmic class XI myosins are the fastest processive motors known. This class functions in high-velocity cytoplasmic streaming in various plant cells from algae to angiosperms. The velocities at which they process are ten times faster than its closest class V homologues.
To provide sequence determinants and structural rationale for the molecular mechanism of this fast pace myosin, we have compared the sequences from myosin class V and XI through Evolutionary Trace (ET) analysis. The current study identifies class-specific residues of myosin XI spread over the actin binding site, ATP binding site and light chain binding neck region. Sequences for ET analysis were accumulated from six plant genomes, using literature based text search and sequence searches, followed by triple validation viz. CDD search, string-based searches and phylogenetic clustering. We have identified nine myosin XI genes in sorghum and seven in grape by sequence searches. Both the plants possess one gene product each belonging to myosin type VIII as well. During this process, we have re-defined the gene boundaries for three sorghum myosin XI genes using fgenesh program.
Molecular modelling and subsequent analysis of putative interactions involving these class-specific residues suggest a structural basis for the molecular mechanism behind high velocity of plant myosin XI. We propose a model of a more flexible switch I region that contributes to faster ADP release leading to high velocity movement of the algal myosin XI.
PMCID: PMC3209465  PMID: 21942950
16.  Genome-wide identification, splicing, and expression analysis of the myosin gene family in maize (Zea mays) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;65(4):923-938.
The actin-based myosin system is essential for the organization and dynamics of the endomembrane system and transport network in plant cells. Plants harbour two unique myosin groups, class VIII and class XI, and the latter is structurally and functionally analogous to the animal and fungal class V myosin. Little is known about myosins in grass, even though grass includes several agronomically important cereal crops. Here, we identified 14 myosin genes from the genome of maize (Zea mays). The relatively larger sizes of maize myosin genes are due to their much longer introns, which are abundant in transposable elements. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that maize myosin genes could be classified into class VIII and class XI, with three and 11 members, respectively. Apart from subgroup XI-F, the remaining subgroups were duplicated at least in one analysed lineage, and the duplication events occurred more extensively in Arabidopsis than in maize. Only two pairs of maize myosins were generated from segmental duplication. Expression analysis revealed that most maize myosin genes were expressed universally, whereas a few members (XI-1, -6, and -11) showed an anther-specific pattern, and many underwent extensive alternative splicing. We also found a short transcript at the O1 locus, which conceptually encoded a headless myosin that most likely functions at the transcriptional level rather than via a dominant-negative mechanism at the translational level. Together, these data provide significant insights into the evolutionary and functional characterization of maize myosin genes that could transfer to the identification and application of homologous myosins of other grasses.
PMCID: PMC3935558  PMID: 24363426
Alternative splicing; evolution; expression pattern; headless myosin; maize; myosin.
17.  Crinivirus replication and host interactions 
Criniviruses comprise one of the genera within the family Closteroviridae. Members in this family are restricted to the phloem and rely on whitefly vectors of the genera Bemisia and/or Trialeurodes for plant-to-plant transmission. All criniviruses have bipartite, positive-sense single-stranded RNA genomes, although there is an unconfirmed report of one having a tripartite genome. Lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV) is the type species of the genus, the best studied so far of the criniviruses and the first for which a reverse genetics system was developed. LIYV RNA 1 encodes for proteins predicted to be involved in replication, and alone is competent for replication in protoplasts. Replication results in accumulation of cytoplasmic vesiculated membranous structures which are characteristic of most studied members of the Closteroviridae. These membranous structures, often referred to as Beet yellows virus (BYV)-type vesicles, are likely sites of RNA replication. LIYV RNA 2 is replicated in trans when co-infecting cells with RNA 1, but is temporally delayed relative to RNA 1. Efficient RNA 2 replication also is dependent on the RNA 1-encoded RNA-binding protein, P34. No LIYV RNA 2-encoded proteins have been shown to affect RNA replication, but at least four, CP (major coat protein), CPm (minor coat protein), Hsp70h, and P59 are virion structural components and CPm is a determinant of whitefly transmissibility. Roles of other LIYV RNA 2-encoded proteins are largely as yet unknown, but P26 is a non-virion protein that accumulates in cells as characteristic plasmalemma deposits which in plants are localized within phloem parenchyma and companion cells over plasmodesmata connections to sieve elements. The two remaining crinivirus-conserved RNA 2-encoded proteins are P5 and P9. P5 is 39 amino acid protein and is encoded at the 5′ end of RNA 2 as ORF 1 and is part of the hallmark closterovirus gene array. The orthologous gene in BYV has been shown to play a role in cell-to-cell movement and indicated to be localized to the endoplasmic reticulum as a Type III integral membrane protein. The other small protein, P9, is encoded by ORF 4 overlaps with ORF 3 that encodes the structural protein, P59. P9 seems to be unique to viruses in the genus Crinivirus, as no similar protein has been detected in viruses of the other two genera of the Closteroviridae.
PMCID: PMC3657685  PMID: 23730299
phloem-limited; plasmalemma deposit; whitefly vector; Crinivirus; quintuple gene block
18.  Mechanical Characterization of One-Headed Myosin-V Using Optical Tweezers 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(8):e12224.
Class V myosin (myosin-V) is a cargo transporter that moves along an actin filament with large (∼36-nm) successive steps. It consists of two heads that each includes a motor domain and a long (23 nm) neck domain. One of the more popular models describing these steps, the hand-over-hand model, assumes the two-headed structure is imperative. However, we previously succeeded in observing successive large steps by one-headed myosin-V upon optimizing the angle of the acto-myosin interaction. In addition, it was reported that wild type myosin-VI and myosin-IX, both one-headed myosins, can also generate successive large steps. Here, we describe the mechanical properties (stepsize and stepping kinetics) of successive large steps by one-headed and two-headed myosin-Vs. This study shows that the stepsize and stepping kinetics of one-headed myosin-V are very similar to those of the two-headed one. However, there was a difference with regards to stability against load and the number of multisteps. One-headed myosin-V also showed unidirectional movement that like two-headed myosin-V required 3.5 kBT from ATP hydrolysis. This value is also similar to that of smooth muscle myosin-II, a non-processive motor, suggesting the myosin family uses a common mechanism for stepping regardless of the steps being processive or non-processive. In this present paper, we conclude that one-headed myosin-V can produce successive large steps without following the hand-over-hand mechanism.
PMCID: PMC2923604  PMID: 20805877
19.  Kinesin- and Myosin-driven Steps of Vesicle Recruitment for Ca2+-regulated Exocytosis  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;138(5):999-1008.
Kinesin and myosin have been proposed to transport intracellular organelles and vesicles to the cell periphery in several cell systems. However, there has been little direct observation of the role of these motor proteins in the delivery of vesicles during regulated exocytosis in intact cells. Using a confocal microscope, we triggered local bursts of Ca2+-regulated exocytosis by wounding the cell membrane and visualized the resulting individual exocytotic events in real time. Different temporal phases of the exocytosis burst were distinguished by their sensitivities to reagents targeting different motor proteins. The function blocking antikinesin antibody SUK4 as well as the stalk-tail fragment of kinesin heavy chain specifically inhibited a slow phase, while butanedione monoxime, a myosin ATPase inhibitor, inhibited both the slow and fast phases. The blockage of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II with autoinhibitory peptide also inhibited the slow and fast phases, consistent with disruption of a myosin-actin– dependent step of vesicle recruitment. Membrane resealing after wounding was also inhibited by these reagents. Our direct observations provide evidence that in intact living cells, kinesin and myosin motors may mediate two sequential transport steps that recruit vesicles to the release sites of Ca2+-regulated exocytosis, although the identity of the responsible myosin isoform is not yet known. They also indicate the existence of three semistable vesicular pools along this regulated membrane trafficking pathway. In addition, our results provide in vivo evidence for the cargo-binding function of the kinesin heavy chain tail domain.
PMCID: PMC2136755  PMID: 9281579
20.  The 64-Kilodalton Capsid Protein Homolog of Beet Yellows Virus Is Required for Assembly of Virion Tails 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(4):2377-2384.
The filamentous virion of the closterovirus Beet yellows virus (BYV) consists of a long body formed by the major capsid protein (CP) and a short tail composed of the minor capsid protein (CPm) and the virus-encoded Hsp70 homolog. By using nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and biochemical analyses, we show here that the BYV 64-kDa protein (p64) is the fourth integral component of BYV virions. The N-terminal domain of p64 is exposed at the virion surface and is accessible to antibodies and mild trypsin digestion. In contrast, the C-terminal domain is embedded in the virion and is inaccessible to antibodies or trypsin. The C-terminal domain of p64 is shown to be homologous to CP and CPm. Mutation of the signature motifs of capsid proteins of filamentous RNA viruses in p64 results in the formation of tailless virions, which are unable to move from cell to cell. These results reveal the dual function of p64 in tail assembly and BYV motility and support the concept of the virion tail as a specialized device for BYV cell-to-cell movement.
PMCID: PMC141117  PMID: 12551975
21.  Myosin 1E localizes to actin polymerization sites in lamellipodia, affecting actin dynamics and adhesion formation 
Biology Open  2013;2(12):1288-1299.
Because the actin network in active lamellipodia is continuously assembling at the edge, moving inward and disassembling, there is a question as to how actin-binding proteins and other components are transported to the leading edge and how nascent adhesions are stabilized. Active transport could play a significant role in these functions but the components involved are unknown. We show here that Myosin 1E (a long tailed Myosin 1 isoform) rapidly moves to the tips of active lamellipodia and to actin-rich early adhesions, unlike Myosin 1G, 1B or 1C (short tailed isoforms). Myosin 1E co-localizes with CARMIL, FHOD1, Arp3 and β3-integrin in those early adhesions. But these structures precede stable paxillin-rich adhesions. Myosin 1E movement depends upon actin-binding domains and the presence of an SH3 oligomerization domain. Overexpression of a Myosin 1E deletion mutant without the extreme C-terminal interacting (SH3) domain (Myosin 1EΔSH3) increases edge fluctuations and decreases stable adhesion lifetimes. In contrast, overexpression of Myosin 1E full tail domain (TH1+TH2+TH3/SH3) decreases edge fluctuation. In Myosin 1E knockdown cells, and more prominently in cells treated with Myosin 1 inhibitor, cell–matrix adhesions are also short-lived and fail to mature. We suggest that, by moving to actin polymerization sites and early adhesion sites in active lamellipodia, Myosin 1E might play important roles in transporting not only important polymerizing proteins but also proteins involved in adhesion stabilization.
PMCID: PMC3863413  PMID: 24337113
Myosin 1E; Cell–matrix adhesion; Transport
22.  Identification of an organelle-specific myosin V receptor 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2003;160(6):887-897.
Class V myosins are widely distributed among diverse organisms and move cargo along actin filaments. Some myosin Vs move multiple types of cargo, where the timing of movement and the destinations of selected cargoes are unique. Here, we report the discovery of an organelle-specific myosin V receptor. Vac17p, a novel protein, is a component of the vacuole-specific receptor for Myo2p, a Saccharomyces cerevisiae myosin V. Vac17p interacts with the Myo2p cargo-binding domain, but not with vacuole inheritance-defective myo2 mutants that have single amino acid changes within this region. Moreover, a region of the Myo2p tail required specifically for secretory vesicle transport is neither required for vacuole inheritance nor for Vac17p–Myo2p interactions. Vac17p is localized on the vacuole membrane, and vacuole-associated Myo2p increases in proportion with an increase in Vac17p. Furthermore, Vac17p is not required for movement of other cargo moved by Myo2p. These findings demonstrate that Vac17p is a component of a vacuole-specific receptor for Myo2p. Organelle-specific receptors such as Vac17p provide a mechanism whereby a single type of myosin V can move diverse cargoes to distinct destinations at different times.
PMCID: PMC2173761  PMID: 12642614
membrane transport; Myo2p; Vac17p; yeast; vacuole
23.  A non-processive class V myosin drives cargo processively when a kinesin-related protein is a passenger 
Current biology : CB  2009;19(24):2121-2125.
During secretory events, kinesin transports cargo along microtubules, then shifts control to myosin V for delivery on actin filaments to the cell membrane [1]. When kinesin and myosin V are present on the same cargo, kinesin interacts electrostatically with actin to enhance myosin V-based transport in vitro [2]. The relevance of this observation within the cell was questioned. In budding yeast, overexpression of a kinesin-family protein (Smy1p) suppressed a transport defect in a strain with a mutant class V myosin (Myo2p) [3]. We postulate that this is a cellular manifestation of the in vitro observation. We demonstrate that Smy1p binds electrostatically to actin bundles. While a single Myo2p cannot transport cargo along actin bundles, addition of Smy1p causes the complex to undergo long-range, continuous movement. We propose that the kinesin-family protein acts as a tether that prevents cargo dissociation from actin, allowing the myosin to take many steps before dissociating. We demonstrate that both the tether and the motor reside on moving secretory vesicles in yeast cells, a necessary feature for this mechanism to apply in vivo. The presence of both kinesin and myosin on the same cargo may be a general mechanism to enhance cellular transport in yeast and higher organisms.
PMCID: PMC2904613  PMID: 20005107
24.  Reduced levels of class 1 reversibly glycosylated polypeptide increase intercellular transport via plasmodesmata 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(1):62-67.
Maize and Arabidopsis thaliana class 1 reversibly glycosylated polypeptides (C1RGPs) are plasmodesmata-associated proteins. Previously, overexpression of Arabidopsis C1RGP AtRGP2 in Nicotiana tabacum was shown to reduce intercellular transport of photoassimilate, resulting in stunted, chlorotic plants, and inhibition of local cell-to-cell spread of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Here, we used virus induced gene silencing to examine the effects of reduced levels of C1RGPs in Nicotiana benthamiana. Silenced plants show wild-type growth and development. Intercellular transport in silenced plants was probed using fluorescently labeled TMV and its movement protein, P30. P30 shows increased cell-to-cell movement and TMV exhibited accelerated systemic spread compared with control plants. These results support the hypothesis that C1RGPs act to regulate intercellular transport via plasmodesmata.
PMCID: PMC3357371  PMID: 22274744
plasmodesmata; reversibly glycosylated polypeptide; TMV movement protein; tobacco mosaic virus; virus-induced gene silencing
25.  Myosin IIIB uses an actin-binding motif in its espin-1 cargo to reach the tips of actin protrusions 
Current Biology  2012;22(4):320-325.
Myosin IIIA (MYO3A) targets actin protrusion tips using a motility mechanism dependent on both motor and tail actin-binding activity [1]. We show that myosin IIIB (MYO3B) lacks tail actin-binding activity and is unable to target COS7 cell filopodia tips, yet is somehow able to target stereocilia tips. Strikingly, when MYO3B is coexpressed with espin-1 (ESPN1), a MYO3A cargo protein endogenously expressed in stereocilia [2], MYO3B targets and carries ESPN1 to COS7 filopodia tips. We show that this tip-localization is lost when we remove the ESPN1 C-terminus actin-binding site. We also demonstrate that, like MYO3A [2], MYO3B can elongate filopodia by transporting ESPN1 to the polymerizing end of actin filaments. The mutual dependence of MYO3B and ESPN1 for tip-localization reveals a novel mechanism for the cell to regulate myosin tip-localization via a reciprocal relationship with cargo that directly participates in actin binding for motility. Our results are consistent with a novel form of motility for class III myosins that requires both motor and tail domain actin-binding activity, and show that the actin-binding tail can be replaced by actin-binding cargo. This study also provides a framework to better understand the late-onset hearing loss phenotype in patients with MYO3A mutations.
PMCID: PMC3288355  PMID: 22264607

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