This first analysis of monocotyledon myosin genes showed that at least five genes, one of which was probably spliced to yield two isoforms, were expressed in maize (Zea mays L.). The complete coding sequence of ZMM1 was determined, as were most of the sequences of two other myosin cDNAs (ZMM2 and ZMM3). ZMM1 and ZMM2 belonged to myosin class XI while ZMM3 was in class VIII. ZMM1 was abundantly expressed in leaves, roots, coleoptiles, and stems. ZMM3 showed a similar distribution but was expressed poorly in pollen. ZMM2 was predominantly expressed in seeds and may be part of a suite of cytoskeletal proteins in reproductive tissues. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that the origin of myosin classes VIII and XI predated that of angiosperms. Immunofluorescence studies using M11L1, a myosin XI antibody specific for the exposed loop 1 head region of myosin, indicated that myosin XI occurred in the cytoplasm of all root tip cells. The highest concentration of myosin XI was in the differentiating epidermal cells. In dividing cells, myosin XI was present near the cytokinetic apparatus at approximately the same concentration seen in other portions of the cytoplasm. Western blot analysis of subcellular fractions indicated that myosin XI was concentrated in mitochondria and low-density membranes.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.