Detailed picture of how myoV 'walks' along actin tracks

January 30, 2012, Rockefeller University
A study in the Journal of General Physiology provides a 3-D picture of how class V myosins "walk" along their actin track. Lewis et al. calculate the movements of an individual myosin V stepping on actin. Credit: Lewis, J.H., et al. 2012. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201110715.

A new study in the Journal of General Physiology uses state-of-the-art fluorescence microscopy to provide a striking 3-D picture of how class V myosins (myoV) "walk" along their actin track.

The myosin superfamily of mechanoenzymes, more commonly referred to as molecular motors, play an important role in and other basic cellular processes. MyoV, one of the most highly studied molecular motors, has the ability to travel by taking multiple hand-over-hand steps without falling off their actin tracks. This makes the motor extremely well suited for intracellular cargo transport along the actin cytoskeleton. However, the complexity of the intracellular actin highway presents a physical challenge to transport, and it is therefore important to understand the structural components of myoV that allow it to maneuver so adeptly through the actin meshwork.

Using single-molecule , Yale Goldman and colleagues, from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, now provide highly refined real-time imagery of myoV molecules walking step by step along single adhered to a glass . Among the novel advances are characterization of the normal stepping across 13 actin monomers and the not-infrequent "misstepping" across 11 monomers that causes the myoV to rotate along the filaments.

"Clearly, Mother Nature has designed an efficient system for cargo delivery by tuning the myoV structure to match the track upon which it travels," says David Warshaw, from the University of Vermont, in a commentary accompanying the article. Goldman and his team provide insights that help to "fully appreciate the full repertoire of myoV's transport capacity," Warshaw adds.

More information: Lewis, J.H., et al. 2012. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201110715
Warshaw, D.M. 2012. J. Gen. Physiol. doi:10.1085/jgp.201210769

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4 comments

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kevinrtrs
Jan 30, 2012
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Deathclock
not rated yet Jan 30, 2012
Kevinrts, the author anthropomorphized nature... it is a common mistake. In no way did they intend to claim that these features were actually consciously designed.
barakn
not rated yet Jan 31, 2012
Don't respond to Kevin. Just report abuse and move on.
rawa1
not rated yet Jan 31, 2012
Some links 1, 2. How the myosin/kinesin "walk" along actin track schematically 1 in microscope 1, 2)

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