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J Cell Sci. 2006 Jan 1;119(Pt 1):184-94.

Myo10 in brain: developmental regulation, identification of a headless isoform and dynamics in neurons.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, Medical Biomolecular Research Building (MBRB), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7545, USA.


Although Myo10 (myosin-X) is an unconventional myosin associated with filopodia, little is known about its isoforms and roles in the nervous system. We report here that, in addition to full-length Myo10, brain expresses a shorter form of Myo10 that lacks a myosin head domain. This ;headless' Myo10 is thus unable to function as a molecular motor, but is otherwise identical to full-length Myo10 and, like it, contains three pleckstrin homology (PH) domains, a myosin-tail homology 4 (MyTH4) domain, and a band-4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin (FERM) domain. Immunoblotting demonstrates that both full-length and headless Myo10 exhibit dramatic developmental regulation in mouse brain. Immunofluorescence with an antibody that detects both isoforms demonstrates that Myo10 is expressed in neurons, such as Purkinje cells, as well as non-neuronal cells, such as astrocytes and ependymal cells. CAD cells, a neuronal cell line, express both full-length and headless Myo10, and this endogenous Myo10 is present in cell bodies, neurites, growth cones and the tips of filopodia. To investigate the dynamics of the two forms of Myo10 in neurons, CAD cells were transfected with GFP constructs corresponding to full-length or headless Myo10. Only full-length Myo10 localizes to filopodial tips and undergoes intrafilopodial motility, demonstrating that the motor domain is necessary for these activities. Live cell imaging also reveals that full-length Myo10 localizes to the tips of neuronal filopodia as they explore and interact with their surroundings, suggesting that this myosin has a role in neuronal actin dynamics.

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