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J Neurosci. 2006 Oct 4;26(40):10243-52.

A new compartment at stereocilia tips defined by spatial and temporal patterns of myosin IIIa expression.

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  • 1Section on Structural Cell Biology, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Abstract

Class III myosins are motor proteins that contain an N-terminal kinase domain and a C-terminal actin-binding domain. We show that myosin IIIa, which has been implicated in nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss, is localized at stereocilia tips. Myosin IIIa progressively accumulates during stereocilia maturation in a thimble-like pattern around the stereocilia tip, distinct from the cap-like localization of myosin XVa and the shaft localization of myosin Ic. Overexpression of deletion mutants for functional domains of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-myosin IIIa shows that the motor domain, but not the actin-binding tail domain, is required for stereocilia tip localization. Deletion of the kinase domain produces stereocilia elongation and bulging of the stereocilia tips. The thimble-like localization and the influence myosin IIIa has on stereocilia shape reveal a previously unrecognized molecular compartment at the distal end of stereocilia, the site of actin polymerization as well as operation of the mechanoelectrical transduction apparatus.

PMID:
17021180
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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