Calcium regulation of myosin-I tension sensing.
ABSTRACT Myo1b is a myosin that is exquisitely sensitive to tension. Its actin-attachment lifetime increases > 50-fold when its working stroke is opposed by 1 pN of force. The long attachment lifetime of myo1b under load raises the question: how are actin attachments that last >50 s in the presence of force regulated? Like most myosins, forces are transmitted to the myo1b motor through a light-chain binding domain that is structurally stabilized by calmodulin, a calcium-binding protein. Thus, we examined the effect of calcium on myo1b motility using ensemble and single-molecule techniques. Calcium accelerates key biochemical transitions on the ATPase pathway, decreases the working-stroke displacement, and greatly reduces the ability of myo1b to sense tension. Thus, calcium provides an effective mechanism for inhibiting motility and terminating long-duration attachments.
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ABSTRACT: Most sounds of interest consist of complex, time-dependent admixtures of tones of diverse frequencies and variable amplitudes. To detect and process these signals, the ear employs a highly nonlinear, adaptive, real-time spectral analyzer: the cochlea. Sound excites vibration of the eardrum and the three miniscule bones of the middle ear, the last of which acts as a piston to initiate oscillatory pressure changes within the liquid-filled chambers of the cochlea. The basilar membrane, an elastic band spiraling along the cochlea between two of these chambers, responds to these pressures by conducting a largely independent traveling wave for each frequency component of the input. Because the basilar membrane is graded in mass and stiffness along its length, however, each traveling wave grows in magnitude and decreases in wavelength until it peaks at a specific, frequency-dependent position: low frequencies propagate to the cochlear apex, whereas high frequencies culminate at the base. The oscillations of the basilar membrane deflect hair bundles, the mechanically sensitive organelles of the ear's sensory receptors, the hair cells. As mechanically sensitive ion channels open and close, each hair cell responds with an electrical signal that is chemically transmitted to an afferent nerve fiber and thence into the brain. In addition to transducing mechanical inputs, hair cells amplify them by two means. Channel gating endows a hair bundle with negative stiffness, an instability that interacts with the motor protein myosin-1c to produce a mechanical amplifier and oscillator. Acting through the piezoelectric membrane protein prestin, electrical responses also cause outer hair cells to elongate and shorten, thus pumping energy into the basilar membrane's movements. The two forms of motility constitute an active process that amplifies mechanical inputs, sharpens frequency discrimination, and confers a compressive nonlinearity on responsiveness. These features arise because the active process operates near a Hopf bifurcation, the generic properties of which explain several key features of hearing. Moreover, when the gain of the active process rises sufficiently in ultraquiet circumstances, the system traverses the bifurcation and even a normal ear actually emits sound. The remarkable properties of hearing thus stem from the propagation of traveling waves on a nonlinear and excitable medium.Reports on Progress in Physics 07/2014; 77(7):076601. DOI:10.1088/0034-4885/77/7/076601 · 15.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Myosin 1b is a single-headed membrane-associated motor that binds to actin filaments with a catch-bond behaviour in response to load. In vivo, myosin 1b is required to form membrane tubules at both endosomes and the trans-Golgi network. To establish the link between these two fundamental properties, here we investigate the capacity of myosin 1b to extract membrane tubes along bundled actin filaments in a minimal reconstituted system. We show that single-headed non-processive myosin 1b can extract membrane tubes at a biologically relevant low density. In contrast to kinesins we do not observe motor accumulation at the tip, suggesting that the underlying mechanism for tube formation is different. In our theoretical model, myosin 1b catch-bond properties facilitate tube extraction under conditions of increasing membrane tension by reducing the density of myo1b required to pull tubes.Nature Communications 04/2014; 5:3624. DOI:10.1038/ncomms4624 · 10.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Class I myosins can sense cellular mechanical forces and function as tension-sensitive anchors or transporters. How mechanical load is transduced from the membrane-binding tail to the force-generating head in myosin-1 is unknown. Here we determined the crystal structure of the entire tail of mouse myosin-1c in complex with apocalmodulin, showing that myosin-1c adopts a stable monomer conformation suited for force transduction. The lever-arm helix and the C-terminal extended PH domain of the motor are coupled by a stable post-IQ domain bound to calmodulin in a highly unusual mode. Ca(2+) binding to calmodulin induces major conformational changes in both IQ motifs and the post-IQ domain and increases flexibility of the myosin-1c tail. Our study provides a structural blueprint for the neck and tail domains of myosin-1 and expands the target binding modes of the master Ca(2+)-signal regulator calmodulin.Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 12/2014; DOI:10.1038/nsmb.2923 · 11.63 Impact Factor