Unconventional myosins, actin dynamics and endocytosis: a ménage à trois?

Traffic. 2003 Jun;4(6):358-66. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0854.2003.t01-1-00095.x.


Ever since the discovery of class I myosins, the first nonmuscle myosins, about 30 years ago, the history of unconventional myosins has been linked to the organization and working of actin filaments. It slowly emerged from studies of class I myosins in lower eukaryotes that they are involved in mechanisms of endocytosis. Most interestingly, a flurry of recent findings assign a more active role to class I myosins in regulating the spatial and temporal organization of actin filament nucleation and elongation. The results highlight the multiple links between class I myosins and the major actin nucleator, the Arp2/3 complex, and its newly described activators. Two additional types of unconventional myosins, myosinIX, and Dictyostelium discoideum MyoM, have recently been tied to the signaling pathways controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling. The present review surveys the links between these three classes of molecular motors and the complex cellular processes of endocytosis and actin dynamics, and concentrates on a working model accounting for the function of class I myosins via recruitment of the machinery responsible for actin nucleation and elongation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Dictyostelium / physiology
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Myosins / classification
  • Myosins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Actins
  • Myosins