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Curr Biol. 2009 Dec 15;19(23):2008-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.10.026. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Human Myo19 is a novel myosin that associates with mitochondria.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Mitochondria are pleomorphic organelles that have central roles in cell physiology. Defects in their localization and dynamics lead to human disease. Myosins are actin-based motors that power processes such as muscle contraction, cytokinesis, and organelle transport. Here we report the initial characterization of myosin-XIX (Myo19), the founding member of a novel class of myosin that associates with mitochondria. The 970 aa heavy chain consists of a motor domain, three IQ motifs, and a short tail. Myo19 mRNA is expressed in multiple tissues, and antibodies to human Myo19 detect an approximately 109 kDa band in multiple cell lines. Both endogenous Myo19 and GFP-Myo19 exhibit striking localization to mitochondria. Deletion analysis reveals that the Myo19 tail is necessary and sufficient for mitochondrial localization. Expressing full-length GFP-Myo19 in A549 cells reveals a remarkable gain of function where the majority of the mitochondria move continuously. Moving mitochondria travel for many micrometers with an obvious leading end and distorted shape. The motility and shape change are sensitive to latrunculin B, indicating that both are actin dependent. Expressing the GFP-Myo19 tail in CAD cells resulted in decreased mitochondrial run lengths in neurites. These results suggest that this novel myosin functions as an actin-based motor for mitochondrial movement in vertebrate cells.

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