TCB Publications - Abstract

Yanxin Liu, Jen Hsin, HyeongJun Kim, Paul R Selvin, and Klaus Schulten. Extension of a three-helix bundle domain of myosin VI and key role of calmodulins. Biophysical Journal, 100:2964-2973, 2011. (PMC: 3123929)

LIU2011 The molecular motor protein myosin VI, upon dimerization, moves towards the minus end of actin filaments with a step size of 30-36 nm. Such large step size either drastically limits the degree of complex formation between dimer subunits to leave enough length for the lever arms, or requires an extension mechanism of the lever arms' crystallographically observed structure. Recent experimental work proposed that myosin VI dimerization triggers the unfolding of the protein's proximal tail domain which acts as a lever arm extension. Here, we demonstrate through steered molecular dynamics simulation the feasibility of such extension arising from turning a three-helix bundle into a long alpha-helix. A key role is played by known calmodulin binding that facilitates the extension through altering the strain path; even more remarkable, new calmodulin binding sites open up that may mechanically strengthen the extended lever arms.

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