F-actin structures and their distribution are important determinants of the dynamic shapes and functions of eukaryotic cells. Actin waves are F-actin formations that move along the ventral cell membrane driven by actin polymerization. Dictyostelium myosin IB is associated with actin waves but its role in the wave is unknown. Myosin IB is a monomeric, non-filamentous myosin with a globular head that binds to F-actin and has motor activity, and a non-helical tail comprising a basic region, a glycine-proline-glutamine-rich region and an SH3-domain. The basic region binds to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane through a short basic-hydrophobic site and the Gly-Pro-Gln region binds F-actin. In the current work we found that both the basic-hydrophobic site in the basic region and the Gly-Pro-Gln region of the tail are required for the association of myosin IB with actin waves. This is the first evidence that the Gly-Pro-Gln region is required for localization of myosin IB to a specific actin structure in situ. The head is not required for myosin IB association with actin waves but binding of the head to F-actin strengthens the association of myosin IB with waves and stabilizes waves. Neither the SH3-domain nor motor activity is required for association of myosin IB with actin waves. We conclude that myosin IB contributes to anchoring actin waves to the plasma membranes by binding of the basic-hydrophobic site to acidic phospholipids in the plasma membrane and binding of the Gly-Pro-Gln region to F-actin in the wave.
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