Myosin VI: An innovative motor that challenged the swinging lever arm hypothesis

James A. Spudich, Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The swinging crossbridge hypothesis states that energy from ATP hydrolysis is transduced to mechanical movement of the myosin head while bound to actin. The light chain-binding region of myosin is thought to act as a lever arm that amplifies movements near the catalytic site. This model has been challenged by findings that myosin VI takes larger steps along actin filaments than early interpretations of its structure seem to allow. We now know that myosin VI does indeed operate by an unusual ̃180° lever arm swing and achieves its large step size using special structural features in its tail domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-137
Number of pages10
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
J.A.S is supported by grant GM33289 from the National Institutes of Health. S.S. is supported by an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship.


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