[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myosin VI moves processively along actin with a larger step size than expected from the size of the motor. Here, we show that the proximal tail (the approximately 80-residue segment following the IQ domain) is not a rigid structure but, rather, a flexible domain that permits the heads to separate. With a GCN4 coiled coil inserted in the proximal tail, the heads are closer together in electron microscopy (EM) images, and the motor takes shorter processive steps. Single-headed myosin VI S1 constructs take nonprocessive 12 nm steps, suggesting that most of the processive step is covered by a diffusive search for an actin binding site. Based on these results, we present a mechanical model that describes stepping under an applied load.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myosin V is a two-headed molecular motor that binds six light chains per heavy chain, which creates unusually long lever arms. This motor moves processively along its actin track in discrete 36-nm steps. Our model is that one head of the two-headed myosin V tightly binds to actin and swings its long lever arm through a large angle, providing a stroke. We created single-headed constructs with different-size lever arms and show that stroke size is proportional to lever arm length. In a two-headed molecule, the stroke provides the directional bias, after which the unbound head diffuses to find its binding site, 36 nm forward. Our two-headed construct with all six light chains per head reconstitutes the 36-nm processive step seen in tissue-purified myosin V. Two-headed myosin V molecules with only four light chains per head are still processive, but their step size is reduced to 24 nm. A further reduction in the length of the lever arms to one light chain per head results in a motor that is unable to walk processively. This motor produces single small approximately 6-nm strokes, and ATPase and pyrene actin quench measurements show that only one of the heads of this dimer rapidly binds to actin for a given binding event. These data show that for myosin V with its normal proximal tail domain, both heads and a long lever arm are required for large, processive steps.
Preview · Article · Nov 2002 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences