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Science. 2008 Jul 4;321(5885):133-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1159419.

Myosin I can act as a molecular force sensor.

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  • 1Pennsylvania Muscle Institute and Department of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

Abstract

The ability to sense molecular tension is crucial for a wide array of cellular processes, including the detection of auditory stimuli, control of cell shape, and internalization and transport of membranes. We show that myosin I, a motor protein that has been implicated in powering key steps in these processes, dramatically alters its motile properties in response to tension. We measured the displacement generated by single myosin I molecules, and we determined the actin-attachment kinetics with varying tensions using an optical trap. The rate of myosin I detachment from actin decreases >75-fold under tension of 2 piconewtons or less, resulting in myosin I transitioning from a low (<0.2) to a high (>0.9) duty-ratio motor. This impressive tension sensitivity supports a role for myosin I as a molecular force sensor.

PMID:
18599791
PMCID:
PMC2493443
DOI:
10.1126/science.1159419
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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