A 10 kDa dynein light chain (DLC), previously identified as a tail light chain of myosin Va, may function as a cargo-binding and/or regulatory subunit of both myosin and dynein. Here, we identify and characterize the binding site of DLC on myosin Va. Fragments of the human myosin Va tail and the DLC2 isoform were expressed, and their complex formation was analyzed by pull-down assays, gel filtration, and spectroscopic methods. DLC2 was found to bind as a homodimer to a ∼15 residue segment (Ile1280-Ile1294) localized between the medial and distal coiled-coil domains of the tail. The binding region contains the three residues coded by the alternatively spliced exon B (Asp1284-Lys1286). Removal of exon B eliminates DLC2 binding. Co-localization experiments in a transfected mammalian cell line confirm our finding that exon B is essential for DLC2 binding. Using circular dichroism, we demonstrate that binding of DLC2 to a ∼85 residue disordered domain (Pro1235-Arg1320) induces some helical structure and stabilizes both flanking coiled-coil domains (melting temperature increases by ∼7 °C). This result shows that DLC2 promotes the assembly of the coiled-coil domains of myosin Va. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and docking simulations show that a 15 residue peptide (Ile1280-Ile1294) binds to the surface grooves on DLC2 similarly to other known binding partners of DLCs. When our data are taken together, they suggest that exon B and its associated DLC2 have a significant effect on the structure of parts of the coiled-coil tail domains and such a way could influence the regulation and cargo-binding function of myosin Va.
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