Myosin XI is required for actin-associated movement of plastid stromules

Mol Plant. 2009 Nov;2(6):1262-72. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssp078. Epub 2009 Sep 18.


Stromules are highly dynamic stroma-filled tubules extending from the surface of plastids and occasionally interconnecting individual plastids, allowing the movement of complex biological molecules between the interconnected plastids. Experiments with inhibitors of cytoskeleton assembly have indicated the involvement of an actin-based system in stromule movement. However, the motor protein associated with the system had not been identified. Here, we present direct evidence that myosin XI is involved in the formation and movement of stromules in tobacco leaves. Application of 2,3-butanedione 2-monoxime, an inhibitor of myosin ATPase activity, resulted in the loss of stromules from tobacco leaf epidermal cells. Transient RNA interference of myosin XI in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana also resulted in the loss of stromules from epidermal cells, without any effect on transcripts for actin or myosin VIII. Transient expression of a GFP-tagged myosin XI tail domain in tobacco leaf epidermal cells showed that the fusion protein localized to the chloroplast envelope, as well as to mitochondria and other organelles. Our findings identify myosin XI as a key protein involved in the formation and movement of stromules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / drug effects
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Myosins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Myosins / metabolism*
  • Organelles / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / enzymology
  • Plastids / metabolism*
  • Tobacco / enzymology
  • Tobacco / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Myosins