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Traffic. 2008 Mar;9(3):290-8. Epub 2007 Dec 9.

The tail that wags the dog: the globular tail domain defines the function of myosin V/XI.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-0840, USA.


Actin-based organelle movements are driven by the related multifunctional myosin motors of class V in animals and fungi and class XI in plants. The versatility of these motors depends critically on their C-terminal globular tail domain that allows them to bind to a broad variety of cargo molecules. Regulation of this motor-cargo attachment is frequently employed to modulate organelle movement. While the overall structure of the cargo-binding globular tail appears to be conserved between myosin V and XI, it has become apparent that the motor-cargo interactions differ widely even within a single organism and involve protein complexes with different architecture and completely unrelated protein domains. At the same time, indirect evidence suggests that adaptor or receptor dimerization could facilitate efficient myosin capture. Comparison of myosin V and XI across the large evolutionary distance between animals and plants will likely reveal more fundamental insights into these important motors.

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