Myosin V from Drosophila reveals diversity of motor mechanisms within the myosin V family

Judit Tóth, Mihály Kovács, Fei Wang, László Nyitray, James R. Sellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


Myosin V is the best characterized vesicle transporter in vertebrates, but it has been unknown as to whether all members of the myosin V family share a common, evolutionarily conserved mechanism of action. Here we show that myosin V from Drosophila has a strikingly different motor mechanism from that of vertebrate myosin Va, and it is a nonprocessive, ensemble motor. Our steady-state and transient kinetic measurements on single-headed constructs reveal that a single Drosophila myosin V molecule spends most of its mechanochemical cycle time detached from actin, therefore it has to function in processive units that comprise several molecules. Accordingly, in in vitro motility assays, double-headed Drosophila myosin V requires high surface concentrations to exhibit a continuous translocation of actin filaments. Our comparison between vertebrate and fly myosin V demonstrates that the well preserved function of myosin V motors in cytoplasmic transport can be accomplished by markedly different underlying mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30594-30603
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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