The Burnham team, led by Dorit Hanein, Ph.D., was the first to reveal the 3D representation of myosin V "walking" along actin filament, a key protein involved in motility and muscle contraction. Using electron-cryo microscopy to take 3D snapshots of myosin V and actin interacting, researchers were able to see myosin V moving along the actin substrate in a "natural state." Previous 2D models have been based on staining or other treatment of the myosin that might alter the complex's natural mechanism of action.
Myosins are a large family of motor proteins that interact with actin filaments for motor movement and muscle contraction. Myosin V is the workhorse of the myosin protein family. It exists to ferry a cargo of proteins needed in a specific place at a specific time. Fueled by hydrolysis -- the process of converting the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into energy -- myosin V travels in one direction using actin as a track to deliver its payload of cell vesicles and organelles. Myosin V is also involved in transporting proteins that signal and communicate with other cells.
Myosin V has a two-chained "tail" that diverges to form two "heads" that bind to specific grooves on actin and walk hand over hand along the track, similar to the way a child moves along the monkey bars in a playground. Myosin V differs from the other myosin family proteins in that it is able to sustain
Contact: Nancy Beddingfield