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Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Aug;4(8):616-20.

Myosin VI is required for E-cadherin-mediated border cell migration.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2185, USA.


Myosin VI (MyoVI) is a pointed-end-directed, actin-based motor protein, and mutations in the gene result in disorganization of hair cell stereocilia and cause deafness in mice. MyoVI also localizes to the leading edges of growth-factor-stimulated fibroblast cells and has been suggested to be involved in cell motility. There has been no direct test of this hypothesis, however. Drosophila melanogaster MyoVI is expressed in a small group of migratory follicle cells, known as border cells. Here we show that depletion of MyoVI specifically from border cells severely inhibited their migration. Similar to MyoVI, E-cadherin is required for border cell migration. We found that E-cadherin and Armadillo (Arm, Drosophila beta-catenin) protein levels were specifically reduced in cells lacking MyoVI, whereas other proteins were not. In addition, MyoVI protein levels were reduced in cells lacking DE-cadherin or Arm. MyoVI and Arm co-immunoprecipitated from ovarian protein extracts. These data suggest that MyoVI is required for border cell migration where it stabilizes E-cadherin and Arm. Mutations in MyoVIIA, another unconventional myosin protein, also lead to deafness, and MyoVIIA interacts with E-cadherin through a membrane protein called vezatin. Multiple biochemical mechanisms may exist, therefore, for cadherins to associate with diverse unconventional myosins that are required for normal stereocilium formation or maintenance.

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