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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1998;40(3):261-71.

Myosin VIIa as a common component of cilia and microvilli.

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Zoologisches Institut, Universit├Ąt Karlsruhe, Germany.


The distribution of myosin VIIa, which is defective or absent in Usher syndrome 1B, was studied in a variety of tissues by immunomicroscopy. The primary aim was to determine whether this putative actin-based mechanoenzyme is a common component of cilia. Previously, it has been proposed that defective ciliary function might be the basis of some forms of Usher syndrome. Myosin VIIa was detected in cilia from cochlear hair cells, olfactory neurons, kidney distal tubules, and lung bronchi. It was also found to cofractionate with the axonemal fraction of retinal photoreceptor cells. Immunolabeling appeared most concentrated in the periphery of the transition zone of the cilia. This general presence of a myosin in cilia is surprising, given that cilia are dominated by microtubules, and not actin filaments. In addition to cilia, myosin VIIa was also found in actin-rich microvilli of different types of cell. We conclude that myosin VIIa is a common component of cilia and microvilli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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