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Monday, February 3, 2014

A vertebrate myosin-I structure reveals unique insights into myosin mechanochemical tuning

Henry Shuman, Michael J. Greenberg, Adam Zwolak, Tianming Lin, Charles V. Sindelar, Roberto Dominguez, and E. Michael Ostap

Myosins are molecular motors that power diverse cellular processes, such as rapid organelle transport, muscle contraction, and tension-sensitive anchoring. The structural adaptations in the motor that allow for this functional diversity are not known, due, in part, to the lack of high-resolution structures of highly tension-sensitive myosins. We determined a 2.3-Å resolution structure of apo-myosin-Ib (Myo1b), which is the most tension-sensitive myosin characterized. We identified a striking unique orientation of structural elements that position the motor’s lever arm. This orientation results in a cavity between the motor and lever arm that holds a 10-residue stretch of N-terminal amino acids, a region that is divergent among myosins. Single-molecule and biochemical analyses show that the N terminus plays an important role in stabilizing the post power-stroke conformation of Myo1b and in tuning the rate of the force-sensitive transition. We propose that this region plays a general role in tuning the mechanochemical properties of myosins.
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