Myosin VII is an unconventional myosin widely expressed in organisms ranging from amoebae to mammals that has been shown to play vital roles in cell adhesion and phagocytosis. Here we present the first study of the mechanism of action of a myosin VII isoform. We have expressed a truncated single-headed Drosophila myosin VIIB construct in the baculovirus-Sf9 system that bound calmodulin light chains. By using steady-state and transient kinetic methods, we showed that myosin VIIB exhibits a fast release of phosphate and a slower, rate-limiting ADP release from actomyosin. As a result, myosin VIIB will be predominantly strongly bound to actin during steady-state ATP hydrolysis (its duty ratio will be at least 80%). This kinetic pattern is, in many respects, similar to that of the single-molecule vesicle transporters myosin V and VI. The enzymatic properties of myosin VIIB provide a kinetic basis for processivity upon possible dimerization via the C-terminal domains of the heavy chain. Our experiments also revealed conformational heterogeneity of the actomyosin VIIB complex in the absence of nucleotide.

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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Intramural Research (Z01)
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U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Inst
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