Cardiology

Atrial fibrillation: New marker for atrial damage discovered

Atrial fibrillation is a common abnormal heart rhythm. It is treated either with medications or by applying heat or extreme cold to destroy small specific tissue areas in the atrium. This inevitably causes small wounds. A ...

Medical research

Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures

Red blood cells are on a wild ride. As they race through the body to deliver oxygen, they must maintain a distinct dimpled shape—and bounce back into form even after squishing through narrow capillaries. Red blood cells ...

Oncology & Cancer

A new role for an old protein in breast cancer

Scientists led by Dr Chris Toseland of the University's School of Biosciences studied a protein called Myosin VI, a molecular motor which acts as a courier to transport other proteins within our cells. Myosin VI is highly ...

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Myosin

Myosins comprise a family of ATP-dependent motor proteins and are best known for their role in muscle contraction and their involvement in a wide range of other eukaryotic motility processes. They are responsible for actin-based motility. The term was originally used to describe a group of similar ATPases found in striated and smooth muscle cells. Following the discovery by Pollard and Korn of enzymes with myosin-like function in Acanthamoeba castellanii, a large number of divergent myosin genes have been discovered throughout eukaryotes. Thus, although myosin was originally thought to be restricted to muscle cells (hence, "myo"), there is no single "myosin" but rather a huge superfamily of genes whose protein products share the basic properties of actin binding, ATP hydrolysis (ATPase enzyme activity), and force transduction. Virtually all eukaryotic cells contain myosin isoforms. Some isoforms have specialized functions in certain cell types (such as muscle), while other isoforms are ubiquitous. The structure and function of myosin is strongly conserved across species, to the extent that rabbit muscle myosin II will bind to actin from an amoeba.

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