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Biophys J. 2010 Sep 22;99(6):1818-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2010.06.066.

The stepping pattern of myosin X is adapted for processive motility on bundled actin.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


Myosin X is a molecular motor that is adapted to select bundled actin filaments over single actin filaments for processive motility. Its unique form of motility suggests that myosin X's stepping mechanism takes advantage of the arrangement of actin filaments and the additional target binding sites found within a bundle. Here we use fluorescence imaging with one-nanometer accuracy to show that myosin X takes steps of ∼18 nm along a fascin-actin bundle. This step-size is well short of the 36-nm step-size observed in myosin V and myosin VI that corresponds to the actin pseudohelical repeat distance. Myosin X is able to walk along bundles with this step-size if it straddles two actin filaments, but would be quickly forced to spiral into the constrained interior of the bundle if it were to use only a single actin filament. We also demonstrate that myosin X takes many sideways steps as it walks along a bundle, suggesting that it can switch actin filament pairs within the bundle as it walks. Sideways steps to the left or the right occur on bundles with equal frequency, suggesting a degree of lateral flexibility such that the motor's working stroke does not bias it to the left or to the right. On single actin filaments, we find a broad mixture of 10-20-nm steps, which again falls short of the 36-nm actin repeat. Moreover, the motor leans to the right as it walks along single filaments, which may require myosin X to adopt strained configurations. As a control, we also tracked myosin V stepping along actin filaments and fascin-actin bundles. We find that myosin V follows a narrower path on both structures, walking primarily along one surface of an actin filament and following a single filament within a bundle while occasionally switching to neighboring filaments. Together, these results delineate some of the structural features of the motor and the track that allow myosin X to recognize actin filament bundles.

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