Principles of unconventional myosin function and targeting.
ABSTRACT Unconventional myosins are a superfamily of actin-based motors implicated in diverse cellular processes. In recent years, much progress has been made in describing their biophysical properties, and headway has been made into analyzing their cellular functions. Here, we focus on the principles that guide in vivo motor function and targeting to specific cellular locations. Rather than describe each motor comprehensively, we outline the major themes that emerge from research across the superfamily and use specific examples to illustrate each. In presenting the data in this format, we seek to identify open questions in each field as well as to point out commonalities between them. To advance our understanding of myosins' roles in vivo, clearly we must identify their cellular cargoes and the protein complexes that regulate motor attachment to fully appreciate their functions on the cellular and developmental levels.
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ABSTRACT: Myosins are key components of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton, providing motility for a broad diversity of cargoes. Therefore, understanding the origin and evolutionary history of myosin classes is crucial to address the evolution of eukaryote cell biology. Here, we revise the classification of myosins using an updated taxon sampling that includes newly or recently sequenced genomes and transcriptomes from key taxa. We performed a survey of eukaryotic genomes and phylogenetic analyses of the myosin gene family, reconstructing the myosin toolkit at different key nodes in the eukaryotic tree of life. We also identified the phylogenetic distribution of myosin diversity in terms of number of genes, associated protein domains and number of classes in each taxa. Our analyses show that new classes (i.e. paralogs) and domain architectures were continuously generated throughout eukaryote evolution, with a significant expansion of myosin abundance and domain architectural diversity at the stem of Holozoa, predating the origin of animal multicellularity. Indeed, single-celled holozoans have the most complex myosin complement among eukaryotes, with paralogs of most myosins previously considered animal-specific. We recover a dynamic evolutionary history, with several lineage-specific expansions (e.g. the 'myosin III-like' gene family diversification in choanoflagellates), convergence in protein domain architectures (e.g. fungal and animal chitin synthase myosins), and important secondary losses. Overall, our evolutionary scheme demonstrates that the ancestral eukaryote likely had a complex myosin repertoire that included six genes with different protein domain architectures. Finally, we provide an integrative and robust classification, useful for future genomic and functional studies on this crucial eukaryotic gene family.Genome Biology and Evolution 01/2014; · 4.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The molecular motor myosin teams up to drive muscle contraction, membrane traffic, and cell division in biological cells. Myosin function in cells emerges from the interaction of multiple motors tethered to a scaffold, with surrounding actin filaments organized into 3D networks. Despite the importance of myosin function, the influence of intermotor interactions on collective motion remains poorly understood. In this study, we used precisely engineered myosin assemblies to examine emergence in collective myosin movement. We report that tethering multiple myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, modifies their movement trajectories on keratocyte actin networks. Single myosin V and VI dimers display similar skewed trajectories, albeit in opposite directions, when traversing the keratocyte actin network. In contrast, tethering myosin VI motors, but not myosin V motors, progressively straightens the trajectories with increasing myosin number. Trajectory shape of multimotor scaffolds positively correlates with the stiffness of the myosin lever arm. Swapping the flexible myosin VI lever arm for the relatively rigid myosin V lever increases trajectory skewness, and vice versa. A simplified model of coupled motor movement demonstrates that the differences in flexural rigidity of the two myosin lever arms is sufficient to account for the differences in observed behavior of groups of myosin V and VI motors. In accordance with this model trajectory, shapes for scaffolds containing both myosin V and VI are dominated by the myosin with a stiffer lever arm. Our findings suggest that structural features unique to each myosin type may confer selective advantages in cellular functions.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Osteoclasts are large, multinucleated cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage that generate specialized substrate adhesion complexes to facilitate their function as bone-degrading cells. The patterning and function of these actin-based complexes, podosomes and sealing zones, are regulated by the small GTPase Rho. Myosin IXB (Myo9b) is a unique actin-based motor protein that contains a RhoGAP domain, which, like other RhoGAPs, is inhibitory to Rho signaling. In this study, Myo9b is shown to be expressed in osteoclasts and act as a critical regulator of podosome patterning and osteoclast function. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of Myo9b results in increased activity of Rho but not Rac in osteoclasts. Knockdown in osteoclasts on glass results in altered podosome patterning and decreased motility, and this effect is reversed by addition of a Rho inhibitor. SiRNA-mediated suppression of Myo9b expression in osteoclasts on bone results in a dramatic loss of resorptive capacity even though sealing zones appear normal. This loss of resorption is also reversible with addition of a Rho inhibitor. Cells with diminished Myo9b levels display mislocalization and suppressed activation of Src, a tyrosine kinase with critical effects on osteoclast actin cytoskeletal rearrangement and function. In addition, siRNA-treated cells display poorly formed microtubule networks and a lack of tubulin acetylation, a marker of microtubule stability. However, short-term addition of TNFα to cells with suppressed Myo9b levels overcomes or circumvents these defects and causes increased sealing zone size and resorptive capacity. These results indicate that the RhoGAP activity of Myo9b plays a key role in regulating the actin-based structures necessary for osteoclast motility and resorption, and confirms that Myo9b can act as a motorized signaling molecule that links Rho signaling to the dynamic actin cytoskeleton.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e87402. · 3.73 Impact Factor