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J Neurobiol. 2004 Feb 5;58(2):175-88.

Short-range axonal/dendritic transport by myosin-V: A model for vesicle delivery to the synapse.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, USA.


Myosin-V is a versatile motor involved in short-range axonal/dendritic transport of vesicles in the actin-rich cortex and synaptic regions of nerve cells. It binds to several different kinds of neuronal vesicles by its globular tail domain but the mechanism by which it is recruited to these vesicles is not known. In this study, we used an in vitro motility assay derived from axoplasm of the squid giant axon to study the effects of the globular tail domain on the transport of neuronal vesicles. We found that the globular tail fragment of myosin-V inhibited actin-based vesicle transport by displacing native myosin-V and binding to vesicles. The globular tail domain pulled down kinesin, a known binding partner of myosin-V, in affinity isolation experiments. These data confirmed earlier evidence that kinesin and myosin-V interact to form a hetero-motor complex. The formation of a kinesin/myosin-V hetero-motor complex on vesicles is thought to facilitate the coordination of long-range movement on microtubules and short-range movement on actin filaments. The direct interaction of motors from both filament systems may represent the mechanism by which the transition of vesicles from microtubules to actin filaments is regulated. These results are the first demonstration that the recombinant tail of myosin-V inhibits vesicle transport in an in vitro motility assay. Future experiments are designed to determine the functional significance of the interaction between myosin-V and kinesin and to identify other proteins that bind to the globular tail domain of myosin-V.

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