A family of unconventional myosins from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Jeffrey P. Baker, Margaret A. Titus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The unconventional myosins are a superfamily of actin-based motor proteins that are expressed in a wide range of cell types and organisms. Thirteen classes of unconventional myosin have been defined, and current efforts are focused on elucidating their individual functions in vivo. Here, we report the identification of a family of unconventional myosin genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. The hum-1, hum-2, hum-3 and hum-6 (heavy chain of an unconventional myosin) genes encode members of myosin classes I, V, VI and VII, respectively. The hum-4 gene encodes a high molecular mass myosin (ca 307 kDa) that is one of the most highly divergent myosins, and is the founding and only known member of class XII. The physical position of each hum gene has been determined. The hum-1, hum-2 and hum-3 genes have been mapped by extrapolation near previously uncharacterized mutations, several of which are lethal, identifying potentially essential unconventional myosin genes in C. elegans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-535
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 3 1997


  • C. elegans
  • Phylogeny
  • Physical mapping
  • Unconventional myosin


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