Myosin V movement: Lessons from molecular dynamics studies of IQ peptides in the lever arm

Assaf Ganoth, Esther Nachliel, Ran Friedman, Menachem Gutman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Myosin V moves along actin filaments by an arm-over-arm motion, known as the lever mechanism. Each of its arms is composed of six consecutive IQ peptides that bind light chain proteins, such as calmodulin or calmodulin-like proteins. We have employed a multistage approach in order to investigate the mechanochemical structural basis of the movement of myosin V from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. For that purpose, we previously carried out molecular dynamics simulations of the Mlc1p-IQ2 and the Mlc1p-IQ4 protein-peptide complexes, and the present study deals with the structures of the IQ peptides when stripped from the Mlc1p protein. We have found that the crystalline structure of the IQ2 peptide retains a stable rodlike configuration in solution, whereas that of the IQ4 peptide grossly deviates from its X-ray conformation exhibiting an intrinsic tendency to curve and bend. The refolding process of the IQ4 peptide is initially driven by electrostatic interactions followed by nonpolar stabilization. Its bending appears to be affected by the ionic strength, when ionic strength higher than ∼300 mM suppresses it from flexing. Considering that a poly-IQ sequence is the lever arm of myosin V, we suggest that the arm may harbor a joint, localized within the IQ4 sequence, enabling the elasticity of the neck of myosin V. Given that a poly-IQ sequence is present at the entire class of myosin V and the possibility that the yeast's myosin V molecule can exist either as a nonprocessive monomer or as a processive dimer depending on conditions (Krementsova, E. B., Hodges, A. R., Lu, H., and Trybus, K. M. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281, 6079-6086), our observations may account for a general structural feature for the myosins' arm embedded flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14524-14536
Number of pages13
Issue number50
StatePublished - 18 Dec 2007


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