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J Cell Biol. 2007 Oct 22;179(2):229-38.

The motor activity of myosin-X promotes actin fiber convergence at the cell periphery to initiate filopodia formation.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


Filopodia are actin-rich fingerlike protrusions found at the leading edge of migrating cells and are believed to play a role in directional sensing. Previous studies have shown that myosin-X (myoX) promotes filopodia formation and that this is mediated through its ability to deliver specific cargoes to the cell periphery (Tokuo, H., and M. Ikebe. 2004. Biochem Biophys. Commun. 319:214-220; Zhang, H., J.S. Berg, Z. Li, Y. Wang, P. Lang, A.D. Sousa, A. Bhaskar, R.E. Cheney, and S. Stromblad. 2004. Nat. Cell Biol. 6:523-531; Bohil, A.B., B.W. Robertson, and R.E. Cheney. 2006. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 103:12411-12416; Zhu, X.J., C.Z. Wang, P.G. Dai, Y. Xie, N.N. Song, Y. Liu, Q.S. Du, L. Mei, Y.Q. Ding, and W.C. Xiong. 2007. Nat. Cell Biol. 9:184-192). In this study, we show that the motor function of myoX and not the cargo function is critical for initiating filopodia formation. Using a dimer-inducing technique, we find that myoX lacking its cargo-binding tail moves laterally at the leading edge of lamellipodia and induces filopodia in living cells. We conclude that the motor function of the two-headed form of myoX is critical for actin reorganization at the leading edge, leading to filopodia formation.

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