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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1997;38(4):385-96.

Type II myosin involved in cytokinesis in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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Department of Biology, University College London, United Kingdom.


We have cloned an unique gene encoding the heavy chain of a type II myosin in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. The myo2+ gene encodes a protein of 1526 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 177 kDa and containing consensus binding motifs for both essential and regulatory light chains. The S. pombe myo2+ head domain is 45% identical to myosin IIs from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Homo sapiens and 40% identical to Drosophila melanogaster Structurally, myo2+ most closely resembles budding yeast MYO1, the tails of both myosin IIs containing a number of proline residues that are predicted to substantially disrupt the ability of these myosins to form coiled coils. The myo2+ gene is located on chromosome III, 8.3 map units from ade6+. Deletion of approximately 70% of the coding sequence of myo2+ is lethal but myo2delta spores can acquire a suppressor mutation that allows them to form viable microcolonies consisting of filaments of branched cells with aberrant septa. Overexpression of myo2+ results in the inhibition of cytokinesis; cells become elongated and multinucleate and fail to assemble a functional cytokinetic actin ring and are either aseptate or form aberrant septa. These results suggest that a contractile actin-myosin based cytokinetic mechanism appeared early in the evolution of eukaryotic cells and further emphasise the utility of fission yeast as a model organism in which to study the molecular and cellular basis of cytokinesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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