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Zimmermann, Dennis; Abdel Motaal, Basma; Voith von Voithenberg, Lena; Schliwa, Manfred and Ökten, Zeynep (2011): Diffusion of myosin V on microtubules. A fine-tuned interaction for which E-hooks are dispensable.
In: PLOS ONE 6(9), e25473 [PDF, 1MB]

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Organelle transport in eukaryotes employs both microtubule and actin tracks to deliver cargo effectively to their destinations, but the question of how the two systems cooperate is still largely unanswered. Recently, in vitro studies revealed that the actin-based processive motor myosin V also binds to, and diffuses along microtubules. This biophysical trick enables cells to exploit both tracks for the same transport process without switching motors. The detailed mechanisms underlying this behavior remain to be solved. By means of single molecule Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRFM), we show here that electrostatic tethering between the positively charged loop 2 and the negatively charged C-terminal E-hooks of microtubules is dispensable. Furthermore, our data indicate that in addition to charge-charge interactions, other interaction forces such as non-ionic attraction might account for myosin V diffusion. These findings provide evidence for a novel way of myosin tethering to microtubules that does not interfere with other E-hook-dependent processes.

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