Myosin VI walks "wiggly" on actin with large and variable tilting

Mol Cell. 2007 Dec 28;28(6):954-64. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2007.10.029.


Myosin VI is an unconventional motor protein with unusual motility properties such as its direction of motion and path on actin and a large stride relative to its short lever arms. To understand these features, the rotational dynamics of the lever arm were studied by single-molecule polarized total internal reflection fluorescence (polTIRF) microscopy during processive motility of myosin VI along actin. The axial angle is distributed in two peaks, consistent with the hand-over-hand model. The changes in lever arm angles during discrete steps suggest that it exhibits large and variable tilting in the plane of actin and to the sides. These motions imply that, in addition to the previously suggested flexible tail domain, there is a compliant region between the motor domain and lever arm that allows myosin VI to accommodate the helical position of binding sites while taking variable step sizes along the actin filament.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry*
  • Actins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Kinetics
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Microscopy, Polarization / methods
  • Models, Biological
  • Motion
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Proteins / chemistry
  • Muscle Proteins / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / chemistry*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / chemistry*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / physiology
  • Rabbits
  • Rotation


  • Actins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • myosin VI
  • Myosin Heavy Chains