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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jan 9, 1996; 93(1): 443–446.

Myosin dynamics in live Dictyostelium cells.


Conventional myosin plays a key role in the cytoskeletal reorganization necessary for cytokinesis, migration, and morphological changes associated with development in nonmuscle cells. We have made a fusion between the green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the Dictyostelium discoideum myosin heavy chain (GFP-myosin). The unique Dictyostelium system allows us to test the GFP-tagged myosin for activity both in vivo and in vitro. Expression of GFP-myosin rescues all myosin null cell defects. Additionally, GFP-myosin purified from these cells exhibits the same ATPase activities and in vitro motility as wild-type myosin. GFP-myosin is concentrated in the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis and in the posterior cortex of migrating cells. Surprisingly, GFP-myosin concentration increases transiently in the tips of retracting pseudopods. Contrary to previous thinking, this suggests that conventional myosin may play an important role in the dynamics of pseudopods as well as filopodia, lamellipodia, and other cellular protrusions.

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