Engaging myosin VI tunes motility, morphology and identity in endocytosis

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While unconventional myosins interact with different stages of the endocytic pathway, they are ascribed a transport function that is secondary to the protein complexes that control organelle identity. Endosomes are subject to a dynamic, continuous flux of proteins that control their characteristic properties, including their motility within the cell. Efforts to describe the changes in identity of this compartment have largely focused on the adaptors present on the compartment and not on the motile properties of the compartment itself. In this study, we use a combination of optogenetic and chemical-dimerization strategies to target exogenous myosin VI to early endosomes, and probe its influence on organelle motility, morphology and identity. Our analysis across timescales suggests a model wherein the artificial engagement of myosin VI motility on early endosomes restricts microtubule-based motion, followed by morphological changes characterized by the rapid condensation and disintegration of organelles, ultimately leading to the enhanced overlap of markers that demarcate endosomal compartments. Together, our findings show that synthetic engagement of myosin VI motility is sufficient to alter organelle homeostasis in the endocytic pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-722
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded in part by NIH grants 1DP2 CA186752-01

Funding Information:
information National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Grant/Award Number: 1-R35-GM126940-01; NIH Office of the Director, Grant/Award Number: 1DP2 CA186752-01This research was funded in part by NIH grants 1DP2 CA186752-01 and 5-R01-GM-105646-05 to S.S. The authors declare no potential conflict of interest. The Editorial Process File is available in the online version of this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • chemical dimerization
  • early endosomes
  • endocytosis
  • molecular motors
  • optogenetics
  • synthetic biology
  • unconventional myosins


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