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Int Rev Cell Mol Biol. 2009;276:301-47. doi: 10.1016/S1937-6448(09)76007-1.

Cell and molecular biology of the fastest myosins.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Gunma University Graduate School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma, Japan.


Chara myosin is a class XI plant myosin in green algae Chara corallina and responsible for fast cytoplasmic streaming. The Chara myosin exhibits the fastest sliding movement of F-actin at 60 mum/s as observed so far, 10-fold of the shortening speed of muscle. It has some distinct properties differing from those of muscle myosin. Although knowledge about Chara myosin is very limited at present, we have tried to elucidate functional bases of its characteristics by comparing with those of other myosins. In particular, we have built the putative atomic model of Chara myosin by using the homology-based modeling system and databases. Based on the putative structure of Chara myosin obtained, we have analyzed the relationship between structure and function of Chara myosin to understand its distinct properties from various aspects by referring to the accumulated knowledge on mechanochemical and structural properties of other classes of myosin, particularly animal and fungal myosin V. We will also discuss the functional significance of Chara myosin in a living cell.

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