The dynamics of actin protrusions can be controlled by tip-localized myosin motors

Joseph A. Cirilo, Xiayi Liao, Benjamin J. Perrin, Christopher M. Yengo

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Class III myosins localize to inner ear hair cell stereocilia and are thought to be crucial for stereocilia length regulation. Mutations within the motor domain of MYO3A that disrupt its intrinsic motor properties have been associated with non-syndromic hearing loss, suggesting that the motor properties of MYO3A are critical for its function within stereocilia. In this study, we investigated the impact of a MYO3A hearing loss mutation, H442N, using both in vitro motor assays and cell biological studies. Our results demonstrate the mutation causes a dramatic increase in intrinsic motor properties, actin-activated ATPase and in vitro actin gliding velocity, as well as an increase in actin protrusion extension velocity. We propose that both “gain of function” and “loss of function” mutations in MYO3A can impair stereocilia length regulation, which is crucial for stereocilia formation during development and normal hearing. Furthermore, we generated chimeric MYO3A constructs that replace the MYO3A motor and neck domain with the motor and neck domain of other myosins. We found that duty ratio, fraction of ATPase cycle myosin is strongly bound to actin, is a critical motor property that dictates the ability to tip localize within filopodia. In addition, in vitro actin gliding velocities correlated extremely well with filopodial extension velocities over a wide range of gliding and extension velocities. Taken together, our data suggest a model in which tip-localized myosin motors exert force that slides the membrane tip-ward, which can combat membrane tension and enhance the actin polymerization rate that ultimately drives protrusion elongation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105516
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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