Neck Length and Processivity of Myosin V
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Myosin V is an unconventional myosin that transports cargo such as vesicles, melanosomes, or mRNA on actin filaments. It is a two-headed myosin with an unusually long neck that has six IQ motifs complexed with calmodulin. In vitro studies have shown that myosin V moves processively on actin, taking multiple 36-nm steps that coincide with the helical repeat of actin. This allows the molecule to "walk" across the top of an actin filament, a feature necessary for moving large vesicles along an
... n filament bound to the cytoskeleton. The extended neck length of the two heads is thought to be critical for taking 36-nm steps for processive movements. To test this hypothesis we have expressed myosin V heavy meromyosin-like fragments containing 6IQ motifs, as well as ones that shorten (2IQ, 4IQ) or lengthen (8IQ) the neck region or alter the spacing between 3rd and 4th IQ motifs. The step size was proportional to neck length for the 2IQ, 4IQ, 6IQ, and 8IQ molecules, but the molecule with the altered spacing took shorter than expected steps. Total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy was used to determine whether the heavy meromyosin IQ molecules were capable of processive movements on actin. At saturating ATP concentrations, all molecules except for the 2IQ mutant moved processively on actin. When the ATP concentration was lowered to 10 M or less, the 2IQ mutant demonstrated some processive movements but with reduced run lengths compared with the other mutants. Its weak processivity was also confirmed by actin landing assays.