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Nat Chem Biol. 2010 Apr;6(4):300-5. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.322. Epub 2010 Mar 14.

Robust processivity of myosin V under off-axis loads.

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Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.


The dimeric motor myosin V transports organelles along actin filament tracks over long distances in cells. Myosin V is a smart 'walker' that is able to swiftly adjust to variable 'road conditions' to continue its processive movement across dense cellular environments. Coordination between the two heads via intramolecular load modulates biochemical kinetics and ensures highly efficient unidirectional motion. However, little is known about how load-induced regulation of the processive stepping occurs in vivo, where myosin V experiences significant off-axis loads applied in various directions. To reveal how myosin V remains processive in cells, we measured the effect of the off-axis loads, applied to individual actomyosin V bonds in a range of angles, on the coordination between the two heads and myosin V processive stepping. We found that myosin V remains highly processive under diagonal loads owing to asymmetrical ADP affinities and that the native 6IQ lever optimizes the subunit coordination, which indicates that myosin V is designed to be an intracellular transporter.

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