Myosin-X (MyoX) belongs to a large family of unconventional, non-muscle, actin-dependent motor proteins. We show that MyoX is predominantly expressed in cranial neural crest (CNC) cells in embryos of Xenopus laevis and is required for head and jaw cartilage development. Knockdown of MyoX expression using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides resulted in retarded migration of CNC cells into the pharyngeal arches, leading to subsequent hypoplasia of cartilage and inhibited outgrowth of the CNC-derived trigeminal nerve. In vitro migration assays on fibronectin using explanted CNC cells showed significant inhibition of filopodia formation, cell attachment, spreading and migration, accompanied by disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. These data support the conclusion that MyoX has an essential function in CNC migration in the vertebrate embryo.
MyoX; Myo10; Myosin-X; filopodia
After clathrin-mediated endocytosis, clathrin removal yields an uncoated vesicle population primed for fusion with the early endosome. Here we present the first characterization of uncoated vesicles and show that myo6, an unconventional myosin, functions to move these vesicles out of actin-rich regions found in epithelial cells. Time-lapse microscopy revealed that myo6-associated uncoated vesicles were motile and exhibited fusion and stretching events before endosome delivery, processes that were dependent on myo6 motor activity. In the absence of myo6 motor activity, uncoated vesicles remained trapped in the actin mesh, where they exhibited Brownian-like motion. Exit from the actin mesh occurred by a slow diffusion-based mechanism, delaying transferrin trafficking to the early endosome. Expression of a myo6 mutant that bound tightly to F-actin produced immobilized vesicles and blocked trafficking. Depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton rescued this block and specifically accelerated transferrin delivery to the early endosome without affecting earlier steps in endocytosis. Therefore actin is a physical barrier impeding uncoated vesicle trafficking, and myo6 is recruited to move the vesicles through this barrier for fusion with the early endosome.
The myoA gene of Dictyostelium is a member of a gene family of unconventional myosins. The myosin Is share homologous head and basic domains, but the myoA gene product lacks the glycine-, proline-, alanine-rich and src homology 3 domains typical of several of the other myosin Is. A mutant strain of Dictyostelium lacking a functional myoA gene was produced by gene targeting, and the motility of this strain in buffer and a spatial gradient of the chemoattractant cyclic AMP was analyzed by computer-assisted methods. The myoA- cells have a normal elongate morphology in buffer but exhibit a decrease in the instantaneous velocity of cellular translocation, an increase in the frequency of lateral pseudopod formation, and an increase in turning. In a spatial gradient, in which the frequency of pseudopod formation is depressed, myoA- cells exhibit positive chemotaxis but still turn several times more frequently than control cells. These results demonstrate that the other members of the unconventional myosin family do not fully compensate for the loss of functional myoA gene product. Surprisingly, the phenotype of the myoA- strain closely resembles that of the myoB- strain, suggesting that both play a role in the frequency of pseudopod formation and turning during cellular translocation.
Neuronal cells must extend a motile growth cone while maintaining the cell body in its original position. In migrating cells, myosin contraction provides the driving force that pulls the rear of the cell toward the leading edge. We have characterized the function of myosin light chain phosphatase, which down-regulates myosin activity, in Drosophila photoreceptor neurons. Mutations in the gene encoding the myosin binding subunit of this enzyme cause photoreceptors to drop out of the eye disc epithelium and move toward and through the optic stalk. We show that this phenotype is due to excessive phosphorylation of the myosin regulatory light chain Spaghetti squash rather than another potential substrate, Moesin, and that it requires the nonmuscle myosin II heavy chain Zipper. Myosin binding subunit mutant cells continue to express apical epithelial markers and do not undergo ectopic apical constriction. In addition, mutant cells in the wing disc remain within the epithelium and differentiate abnormal wing hairs. We suggest that excessive myosin activity in photoreceptor neurons may pull the cell bodies toward the growth cones in a process resembling normal cell migration.
Unconventional myosins are critical motor proteins in the vertebrate inner ear. Mutations in any one of at least six different myosins can lead to human hereditary deafness, but the precise functions of these proteins in the ear are unknown. This study uses a comparative approach to better understand the role of myosins VI and VIIa in vertebrate ears by examining protein distribution for these two myosins in the ears of evolutionarily diverse fishes and the aquatic clawed toad Xenopus laevis. Both myosins are expressed in the inner ears of all species examined in this study. Myo7a localizes to hair cells, particularly the actin-rich hair bundle, in all species studied. Myo6 also localizes to hair cells, but its distribution differs between species and end organs. Myo6 is found in hair bundles of most fish and frog epithelia examined here but not in anterior and posterior utricular hair bundles of American shad. These results show that myo7a distribution is highly conserved in diverse vertebrates and suggest functional conservation as well. The finding of myo6 in fish and Xenopus hair bundles, however, suggests a novel role for this protein in anamniotic hair cells. The lack of myo6 in specific American shad utricular hair bundles indicates a unique quality of these cells among fishes, perhaps relating to ultrasound detection capability that is found in this species.
teleost; hearing; hair cell; saccule; utricle; lagena; myosin
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the unconventional myosin Myo2p is of fundamental importance in polarized growth. We explore the role of the neck region and its associated light chains in regulating Myo2p function. Surprisingly, we find that precise deletion of the six IQ sites in the neck region results in a myosin, Myo2-Δ6IQp, that can support the growth of a yeast strain at 90% the rate of a wild-type isogenic strain. We exploit this mutant in a characterization of the light chains of Myo2p. First, we demonstrate that the localization of calmodulin to sites of polarized growth largely depends on the IQ sites in the neck of Myo2p. Second, we demonstrate that a previously uncharacterized protein, Mlc1p, is a myosin light chain of Myo2p. MLC1 (YGL106w) is an essential gene that exhibits haploinsufficiency. Reduced levels of MYO2 overcome the haploinsufficiency of MLC1. The mutant MYO2-Δ6IQ is able to suppress haploinsufficiency but not deletion of MLC1. We used a modified gel overlay assay to demonstrate a direct interaction between Mlc1p and the neck of Myo2p. Overexpression of MYO2 is toxic, causing a severe decrease in growth rate. When MYO2 is overexpressed, Myo2p is fourfold less stable than in a wild-type strain. High copies of MLC1 completely overcome the growth defects and increase the stability of Myo2p. Our results suggest that Mlc1p is responsible for stabilizing this myosin by binding to the neck region.
myosin; polarized; stability; Myo4; cytokinesis
Myosin V is a double-headed unconventional myosin that has been implicated in organelle transport. To perform this role, myosin V may have a high duty cycle. To test this hypothesis and understand the properties of this molecule at the molecular level, we used the laser trap and in vitro motility assay to characterize the mechanics of heavy meromyosin–like fragments of myosin V (M5HMM) expressed in the Baculovirus system. The relationship between actin filament velocity and the number of interacting M5HMM molecules indicates a duty cycle of ≥50%. This high duty cycle would allow actin filament translocation and thus organelle transport by a few M5HMM molecules. Single molecule displacement data showed predominantly single step events of 20 nm and an occasional second step to 37 nm. The 20-nm unitary step represents the myosin V working stroke and is independent of the mode of M5HMM attachment to the motility surface or light chain content. The large M5HMM working stroke is consistent with the myosin V neck acting as a mechanical lever. The second step is characterized by an increased displacement variance, suggesting a model for how the two heads of myosin V function in processive motion.
myosin V; in vitro motility; laser trap; single molecule; mechanics
Myosin-X, an unconventional myosin that has been studied primarily in fibroblast-like cells, has been shown to have important functions in polarized epithelial cell junction formation, regulation of paracellular permeability, and epithelial morphogenesis.
Myosin-X (Myo10) is an unconventional myosin that localizes to the tips of filopodia and has critical functions in filopodia. Although Myo10 has been studied primarily in nonpolarized, fibroblast-like cells, Myo10 is expressed in vivo in many epithelia-rich tissues, such as kidney. In this study, we investigate the localization and functions of Myo10 in polarized epithelial cells, using Madin-Darby canine kidney II cells as a model system. Calcium-switch experiments demonstrate that, during junction assembly, green fluorescent protein–Myo10 localizes to lateral membrane cell–cell contacts and to filopodia-like structures imaged by total internal reflection fluorescence on the basal surface. Knockdown of Myo10 leads to delayed recruitment of E-cadherin and ZO-1 to junctions, as well as a delay in tight junction barrier formation, as indicated by a delay in the development of peak transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). Although Myo10 knockdown cells eventually mature into monolayers with normal TER, these monolayers do exhibit increased paracellular permeability to fluorescent dextrans. Importantly, knockdown of Myo10 leads to mitotic spindle misorientation, and in three-dimensional culture, Myo10 knockdown cysts exhibit defects in lumen formation. Together these results reveal that Myo10 functions in polarized epithelial cells in junction formation, regulation of paracellular permeability, and epithelial morphogenesis.
Mutations in the myosin-VIIa (MYO7a) gene cause human Usher disease, characterized by hearing impairment and progressive retinal degeneration. In the retina, myosin-VIIa is highly expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium, where it plays a role in the positioning of melanosomes and other digestion organelles. Using a human cultured retinal pigmented epithelia cell line, ARPE-19, as a model system, we have found that a population of myosin-VIIa is associated with cathepsin D- and Rab7-positive lysosomes. Association of myosin-VIIa with lysosomes was Rab7 independent, as dominant negative and dominant active versions of Rab7 did not disrupt myosin-VIIa recruitment to lysosomes. Association of myosin-VIIa with lysosomes was also independent of the actin and microtubule cytoskeleton. Myosin-VIIa copurified with lysosomes on density gradients, and fractionation and extraction experiments suggested that it was tightly associated with the lysosome surface. These studies suggest that myosin-VIIa is a lysosome motor.
unconventional myosin-VIIa; actin; pigmented epithelial cell; Usher disease; Blindness; Deafness; Myosin-VIIa: myo7a; Retinal pigmented epithelia: RPE; Rod outer segment: ROS
A combination of experimentation and modeling reveal that multiple myosin VI molecules coordinately transport cargo over the actin filament network.
Unconventional myosins interact with the dense cortical actin network during processes such as membrane trafficking, cell migration, and mechanotransduction. Our understanding of unconventional myosin function is derived largely from assays that examine the interaction of a single myosin with a single actin filament. In this study, we have developed a model system to study the interaction between multiple tethered unconventional myosins and a model F-actin cortex, namely the lamellipodium of a migrating fish epidermal keratocyte. Using myosin VI, which moves toward the pointed end of actin filaments, we directly determine the polarity of the extracted keratocyte lamellipodium from the cell periphery to the cell nucleus. We use a combination of experimentation and simulation to demonstrate that multiple myosin VI molecules can coordinate to efficiently transport vesicle-size cargo over 10 µm of the dense interlaced actin network. Furthermore, several molecules of monomeric myosin VI, which are nonprocessive in single molecule assays, can coordinate to transport cargo with similar speeds as dimers.
Myosin-1d is a monomeric actin-based motor found in a wide range of tissues, but highly expressed in the nervous system. Previous microarray studies suggest that myosin-1d is found in oligodendrocytes where transcripts are upregulated during the maturation of these cells. Myosin-1d was also identified as a component of myelin-containing subcellular fractions in proteomic studies and mutations in MYO1D have been linked to autism. Despite the potential implications of these previous studies, there is little information on the expression and localization of myosin-1d in the developing nervous system. Therefore, we analyzed myosin-1d expression patterns in the peripheral and central nervous systems during postnatal development. In mouse sciatic nerve, myosin-1d is expressed along the axon and in the ensheathing myelin compartment. Analysis of mouse cerebellum prior to myelination at day 3 reveal myosin-1d is present in the Purkinje cell layer, granule cell layer, and region of the cerebellar nuclei. Upon the onset of myelination, myosin-1d enrichment expands along axonal tracts, while still present in the Purkinje and granule cell layers. However, myosin-1d was undetectable in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells at early and late time points. We also show that myosin-1d interacts and is co-expressed with aspartoacylase, an enzyme that plays a key role in fatty acid synthesis throughout the nervous system. Together, these studies provide a foundation for understanding the role of myosin-1d in neurodevelopment and neurological disorders.
cytoskeleton; actin; myelin; cerebellum; aspartoacylase
Myosins are cytoskeletal motors critical for generating the forces necessary for establishing cell structure and mediating actin-dependent cell motility. In each cell type a multitude of myosins are expressed, each myosin contributing to aspects of morphogenesis, transport, or motility occurring in that cell type. To examine the roles of myosins in individual retinal cell types, we first used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening to identify myosins expressed in retina and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), followed by immunohistochemistry to examine the cellular and subcellular localizations of seven of these expressed myosins. In the myosin PCR screen of cDNA from striped bass retina and striped bass RPE, we amplified 17 distinct myosins from eight myosin classes from retinal cDNA and 11 distinct myosins from seven myosin classes from RPE cDNA. By using antibodies specific for myosins IIA, IIB, IIIA, IIIB, VI, VIIA, and IXB, we examined the localization patterns of these myosins in retinas and RPE of fish, and in isolated inner/outer segment fragments of green sunfish photoreceptors. Each of the myosins exhibited unique expression patterns in fish retina. Individual cell types expressed multiple myosin family members, some of which colocalized within a particular cell type. Because much is known about the functions and properties of these myosins from studies in other systems, their cellular and subcellular localization patterns in the retina help us understand which roles they might play in the vertebrate retina and RPE.
myosin; retina; photoreceptor; actin; fish; RPE
The organization of the actin cytoskeleton plays a critical role in cell physiology in motile and nonmotile organisms. Nonetheless, the function of the actin based motor molecules, members of the myosin superfamily, is not well understood. Deletion of MYO3, a yeast gene encoding a "classic" myosin I, has no detectable phenotype. We used a synthetic lethality screen to uncover genes whose functions might overlap with those of MYO3 and identified a second yeast myosin 1 gene, MYO5. MYO5 shows 86 and 62% identity to MYO3 across the motor and non- motor regions. Both genes contain an amino terminal motor domain, a neck region containing two IQ motifs, and a tail domain consisting of a positively charged region, a proline-rich region containing sequences implicated in ATP-insensitive actin binding, and an SH3 domain. Although myo5 deletion mutants have no detectable phenotype, yeast strains deleted for both MYO3 and MYO5 have severe defects in growth and actin cytoskeletal organization. Double deletion mutants also display phenotypes associated with actin disorganization including accumulation of intracellular membranes and vesicles, cell rounding, random bud site selection, sensitivity to high osmotic strength, and low pH as well as defects in chitin and cell wall deposition, invertase secretion, and fluid phase endocytosis. Indirect immunofluorescence studies using epitope-tagged Myo5p indicate that Myo5p is localized at actin patches. These results indicate that MYO3 and MYO5 encode classical myosin I proteins with overlapping functions and suggest a role for Myo3p and Myo5p in organization of the actin cytoskeleton of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Class III myosins are important for the function and survival of photoreceptors and ciliary hair cells. Although vertebrates possess two class III myosin genes, myo3A and myo3B, recent studies have focused on Myo3A because mutations in the human gene are implicated in progressive hearing loss. Myo3B may compensate for defects in Myo3A, yet little is known about its distribution and function. This study focuses on Myo3B expression in the mouse retina. We cloned two variants of myo3B from mouse retina and determined that they are expressed early in retinal development. In this study we show for the first time in a mammal that both Myo3B and Myo3A proteins are present in inner segments of all photoreceptors. Myo3B is also present in outer segments of S opsin-immunoreactive cones but not M opsin dominant cones. Myo3B is also detected in rare cells of the inner nuclear layer and some ganglion cells. Myo3B may have diverse roles in retinal neurons. In photoreceptor inner segments Myo3B is positioned appropriately to prevent photoreceptor loss of function caused by Myo3A defects.
Photoreceptors; blue cones; ganglion cells; immunocytochemistry; Myosin3A
Myosin VIIA (MyoVIIA) is an unconventional myosin necessary for vertebrate audition –. Human auditory transduction occurs in sensory hair cells with a staircase-like arrangement of apical protrusions called stereocilia. In these hair cells, MyoVIIA maintains stereocilia organization . Severe mutations in the Drosophila MyoVIIA orthologue, crinkled (ck), are semi-lethal  and lead to deafness by disrupting antennal auditory organ (Johnston's Organ, JO) organization . ck/MyoVIIA mutations result in apical detachment of auditory transduction units (scolopidia) from the cuticle that transmits antennal vibrations as mechanical stimuli to JO.
Using flies expressing GFP-tagged NompA, a protein required for auditory organ organization in Drosophila, we examined the role of ck/MyoVIIA in JO development and maintenance through confocal microscopy and extracellular electrophysiology. Here we show that ck/MyoVIIA is necessary early in the developing antenna for initial apical attachment of the scolopidia to the articulating joint. ck/MyoVIIA is also necessary to maintain scolopidial attachment throughout adulthood. Moreover, in the adult JO, ck/MyoVIIA genetically interacts with the non-muscle myosin II (through its regulatory light chain protein and the myosin binding subunit of myosin II phosphatase). Such genetic interactions have not previously been observed in scolopidia. These factors are therefore candidates for modulating MyoVIIA activity in vertebrates.
Our findings indicate that MyoVIIA plays evolutionarily conserved roles in auditory organ development and maintenance in invertebrates and vertebrates, enhancing our understanding of auditory organ development and function, as well as providing significant clues for future research.
The amoeba Dictyostelium is a simple genetic system for analyzing substrate adhesion, motility and phagocytosis. A new adhesion-defective mutant named phg2 was isolated in this system, and PHG2 encodes a novel serine/threonine kinase with a ras-binding domain. We compared the phenotype of phg2 null cells to other previously isolated adhesion mutants to evaluate the specific role of each gene product. Phg1, Phg2, myosin VII, and talin all play similar roles in cellular adhesion. Like myosin VII and talin, Phg2 also is involved in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton. In addition, phg2 mutant cells have defects in the organization of the actin cytoskeleton at the cell-substrate interface, and in cell motility. Because these last two defects are not seen in phg1, myoVII, or talin mutants, this suggests a specific role for Phg2 in the control of local actin polymerization/depolymerization. This study establishes a functional hierarchy in the roles of Phg1, Phg2, myosinVII, and talin in cellular adhesion, actin cytoskeleton organization, and motility.
The unconventional motor protein, myosin Va, is crucial for the development of the mouse neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in the early postnatal phase. Furthermore, the cooperative action of protein kinase A (PKA) and myosin Va is essential to maintain the adult NMJ. We here assessed the involvement of myosin Va and PKA in NMJ recovery during muscle regeneration.
To address a putative role of myosin Va and PKA in the process of muscle regeneration, we used two experimental models the dystrophic mdx mouse and Notexin-induced muscle degeneration/regeneration. We found that in both systems myosin Va and PKA type I accumulate beneath the NMJs in a fiber maturation-dependent manner. Morphologically intact NMJs were found to express stable nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and to accumulate myosin Va and PKA type I in the subsynaptic region. Subsynaptic cAMP signaling was strongly altered in dystrophic muscle, particularly in fibers with severely subverted NMJ morphology.
Our data show a correlation between the subsynaptic accumulation of myosin Va and PKA type I on the one hand and NMJ regeneration status and morphology, AChR stability and specificity of subsynaptic cAMP handling on the other hand. This suggests an important role of myosin Va and PKA type I for the maturation of NMJs in regenerating muscle.
Since class III unconventional myosins are motor proteins with an N-terminal kinase domain, it seems likely they play a role in both signaling and actin based transport. A growing body of evidence indicates that the motor functions of human class IIIA myosin, which has been implicated in progressive hearing loss, are modulated by intermolecular autophosphorylation. However, the phosphorylation sites have not been identified. We studied the kinase activity and phosphorylation sites of mouse class III myosins, mMyo3A and 3B, which are highly similar to their human orthologs. We demonstrate that the kinase domains of mMyo3A and 3B are active kinases, and that they have similar, if not identical, substrate specificities. We show that the kinase domains of these proteins autophosphorylate, and that they can phosphorylate sites within their myosin and tail domains. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we identified phosphorylated sites in the kinase, myosin motor and tail domains of both mMyo3A and 3B. Most of the phosphorylated sites we identified and their consensus phosphorylation motifs are highly conserved among vertebrate class III myosins, including human class III myosins. Our findings are a major step toward understanding how the functions of class III myosins are regulated by phosphorylation.
Unconventional myosin; Ste20 kinase; myosin phosphorylation; non-syndromic deafness (DFNB30); hair cells; photoreceptors
Mitochondria are pleomorphic organelles [1, 2] that have central roles in cell physiology. Defects in their localization and dynamics lead to human disease [3-5]. Myosins are actin-based motors that power processes such as muscle contraction, cytokinesis, and organelle transport . Here we report the initial characterization of myosin-XIX (Myo19), the founding member of a novel class of myosin that associates with mitochondria. The 970aa heavy chain consists of a motor domain, three IQ motifs, and a short tail. Myo19 mRNA is expressed in multiple tissues and antibodies to human Myo19 detect a ∼109kD band in multiple cell lines. Both endogenous Myo19 and GFP-Myo19 exhibit striking localization to mitochondria. Deletion analysis reveals that the Myo19 tail is necessary and sufficient for mitochondrial localization. Expressing full-length GFP-Myo19 in A549 cells reveals a remarkable gain-of-function where the majority of the mitochondria move continuously. Moving mitochondria travel for many microns with an obvious leading end and distorted shape. The motility and shape-change are sensitive to latrunculin B, indicating that both are actin-dependent. Expressing the GFP-Myo19 tail in CAD cells resulted in decreased mitochondrial run lengths in neurites. These results suggest that this novel myosin functions as an actin-based motor for mitochondrial movement in vertebrate cells.
Myosin V (myoV), a processive cargo transporter, has arguably been the most well-studied unconventional myosin of the past decade. Considerable structural information is available for the motor domain, the IQ motifs with bound calmodulin or light chains, and the cargo-binding globular tail, all of which have been crystallized. The repertoire of adapter proteins that link myoV to a particular cargo is becoming better understood, enabling cellular transport processes to be dissected. MyoV is processive, meaning that it takes many steps on actin filaments without dissociating. Its extended lever arm results in long 36 nm steps, making it ideal for single molecule studies of processive movement. In addition, electron microscopy revealed the structure of the inactive, folded conformation of myoV when it is not transporting cargo. This review provides a background on myoV, and highlights recent discoveries that show why myoV will continue to be an active focus of investigation.
myosin V; motor protein; IQ motif; cargo-binding; processivity; calmodulin
The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae uses two class V myosins to transport cellular material into the bud: Myo2p moves secretory vesicles and organelles, whereas Myo4p transports mRNA. To understand how Myo2p and Myo4p are adapted to transport physically distinct cargos, we characterize Myo2p and Myo4p in yeast extracts, purify active Myo2p and Myo4p from yeast lysates, and analyze their motility. We find several striking differences between Myo2p and Myo4p. First, Myo2p forms a dimer, whereas Myo4p is a monomer. Second, Myo4p generates higher actin filament velocity at lower motor density. Third, single molecules of Myo2p are weakly processive, whereas individual Myo4p motors are nonprocessive. Finally, Myo4p self-assembles into multi-motor complexes capable of processive motility. We show that the unique motility of Myo4p is not due to its motor domain and that the motor domain of Myo2p can transport ASH1 mRNA in vivo. Our results suggest that the oligomeric state of Myo4p is important for its motility and ability to transport mRNA.
The striped bass has two retina-expressed class III myosin genes, each composed of a kinase, motor, and tail domain. We report the cloning, sequence analysis, and expression patterns of the long (Myo3A) and short (Myo3B) class III myosins, as well as cellular localization and biochemical characterization of the long isoform, Myo3A. Myo3A (209 kDa) is expressed in the retina, brain, testis, and sacculus, and Myo3B (155 kDa) is expressed in the retina, intestine, and testis. The tails of these two isoforms contain two highly conserved domains, 3THDI and 3THDII. Whereas Myo3B has three IQ motifs, Myo3A has nine IQ motifs, four in its neck and five in its tail domain. Myo3A localizes to actin filament bundles of photoreceptors and is concentrated in the calycal processes. An anti-Myo3A antibody decorates the actin cytoskeleton of rod inner/outer segments, and this labeling is reduced by the presence of ATP. The ATP-sensitive actin association is a feature characteristic of myosin motors. The numerous IQ motifs may play a structural or signaling role in the Myo3A, and its localization to calycal processes indicates that this myosin mediates a local function at this site in vertebrate photoreceptors.
Toxoplasma gondii motility is powered by the myosin XIV motor complex, which consists of the myosin XIV heavy chain (MyoA), the myosin light chain (MLC1), GAP45, and GAP50, the membrane anchor of the complex. MyoA, MLC1, and GAP45 are initially assembled into a soluble complex, which then associates with GAP50, an integral membrane protein of the parasite inner membrane complex. While all proteins in the myosin XIV motor complex are essential for parasite survival, the specific role of GAP45 remains unclear. We demonstrate here that final assembly of the motor complex is controlled by phosphorylation of GAP45. This protein is phosphorylated on multiple residues, and by using mass spectroscopy, we have identified two of these, Ser163 and Ser167. The importance of these phosphorylation events was determined by mutation of Ser163 and Ser167 to Glu and Ala residues to mimic phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated residues, respectively. Mutation of Ser163 and Ser167 to either Ala or Glu residues does not affect targeting of GAP45 to the inner membrane complex or its association with MyoA and MLC1. Mutation of Ser163 and Ser167 to Ala residues also does not affect assembly of the mutant GAP45 protein into the myosin motor complex. Mutation of Ser163 and Ser167 to Glu residues, however, prevents association of the MyoA-MLC1-GAP45 complex with GAP50. These observations indicate that phosphorylation of Ser163 and Ser167 in GAP45 controls the final step in assembly of the myosin XIV motor complex.
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.
myosin XI; cytoplasmic streaming; intracellular transport; plants
Neuronal dynamics result from the integration of forces developed by molecular motors, especially conventional myosins. Myosin IIC is a recently discovered nonsarcomeric conventional myosin motor, the function of which is poorly understood, particularly in relation to the separate but coupled activities of its close homologues, myosins IIA and IIB, which participate in neuronal adhesion, outgrowth and retraction. To determine myosin IIC function, we have applied a comparative functional knockdown approach by using isoform-specific antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides to deplete expression within neuronally derived cells. Myosin IIC was found to be critical for driving neuronal process outgrowth, a function that it shares with myosin IIB. Additionally, myosin IIC modulates neuronal cell adhesion, a function that it shares with myosin IIA but not myosin IIB. Consistent with this role, myosin IIC knockdown caused a concomitant decrease in paxillin-phospho-Tyr118 immunofluorescence, similar to knockdown of myosin IIA but not myosin IIB. Myosin IIC depletion also created a distinctive phenotype with increased cell body diameter, increased vacuolization, and impaired responsiveness to triggered neurite collapse by lysophosphatidic acid. This novel combination of properties suggests that myosin IIC must participate in distinctive cellular roles and reinforces our view that closely related motor isoforms drive diverse functions within neuronal cells.