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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;19(1):82-7. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Left-right asymmetry: class I myosins show the direction.

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Institute of Signalling, Developmental Biology & Cancer, CNRS - UMR 6543, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice cedex 2, France.


Myosins are actin-based molecular motors that are found in almost all eukaryotes. Phylogenetic analysis allows the discrimination of 37 different types of myosins, most with unknown functions. Recent work in Drosophila has revealed a crucial role for type ID unconventional myosin in left-right asymmetry. Mutations in Myosin ID completely reverse the left-right axis (situs inversus), a phenotype that is dependent on an intact actin cytoskeleton. How this myosin might orient the left-right axis has began to be elucidated by showing that it interacts directly with beta-catenin, suggesting that myosin ID interacts with the adherens junction to control the direction of organ looping. This is the first demonstration of a role of a myosin in body patterning.

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