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J Mol Biol. 1997 Aug 8;271(1):139-46.

A novel class of unconventional myosins from Toxoplasma gondii.

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Department of Anatomy, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Mol Biol 2000 Mar 31;297(3):829.


Here, we describe the complete deduced amino acid sequence of three unconventional myosins identified in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the three myosins represent a novel, highly-divergent class addition to the myosin superfamily. Toxoplasma gondii myosin-A (TgM-A) is a remarkably small approximately 93 kDa myosin that shows a striking departure from typical myosin heavy chain structure in having a head and tail domain but no discernible neck domain. In other myosins, the neck is defined by one or more IQ motifs that serve as potential light chain binding domains. No IQ motifs are apparent in TgM-A. The tail domain of TgM-A encompasses only 57 amino acid residues and is characterized by its highly basic charge (pI = 10.8). The other two Toxoplasma myosins, TgM-B and TgM-C appear to be the product of differential RNA splicing with TgM-B yielding a protein of approximately 114 kDa and TgM-C a protein of approximately 125 kDa. These two myosins are identical throughout their head domain and neck domain which contains a single IQ motif. TgM-B and C share the proximal 245 residues of their tail domain and then diverge in their tail structure distally. The tails, like that of TgM-A, share no homology to any other myosin tails apart from a highly basic charge. The identification of yet another class of unconventional myosins, including a myosin as novel in structure as the 93 kDa TgM-A, continues to underscore the diversity of this family of molecular motors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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