Myosin VI is required for E-cadherin-mediated border cell migration

Nat Cell Biol. 2002 Aug;4(8):616-20. doi: 10.1038/ncb830.


Myosin VI (MyoVI) is a pointed-end-directed, actin-based motor protein, and mutations in the gene result in disorganization of hair cell stereocilia and cause deafness in mice. MyoVI also localizes to the leading edges of growth-factor-stimulated fibroblast cells and has been suggested to be involved in cell motility. There has been no direct test of this hypothesis, however. Drosophila melanogaster MyoVI is expressed in a small group of migratory follicle cells, known as border cells. Here we show that depletion of MyoVI specifically from border cells severely inhibited their migration. Similar to MyoVI, E-cadherin is required for border cell migration. We found that E-cadherin and Armadillo (Arm, Drosophila beta-catenin) protein levels were specifically reduced in cells lacking MyoVI, whereas other proteins were not. In addition, MyoVI protein levels were reduced in cells lacking DE-cadherin or Arm. MyoVI and Arm co-immunoprecipitated from ovarian protein extracts. These data suggest that MyoVI is required for border cell migration where it stabilizes E-cadherin and Arm. Mutations in MyoVIIA, another unconventional myosin protein, also lead to deafness, and MyoVIIA interacts with E-cadherin through a membrane protein called vezatin. Multiple biochemical mechanisms may exist, therefore, for cadherins to associate with diverse unconventional myosins that are required for normal stereocilium formation or maintenance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Armadillo Domain Proteins
  • Cadherins / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Female
  • Insect Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / genetics
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin


  • ARM protein, Drosophila
  • Armadillo Domain Proteins
  • Cadherins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Insect Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • beta Catenin
  • myosin VI
  • Myosin Heavy Chains