Myosin VI: an innovative motor that challenged the swinging lever arm hypothesis

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Feb;11(2):128-37. doi: 10.1038/nrm2833.


The swinging crossbridge hypothesis states that energy from ATP hydrolysis is transduced to mechanical movement of the myosin head while bound to actin. The light chain-binding region of myosin is thought to act as a lever arm that amplifies movements near the catalytic site. This model has been challenged by findings that myosin VI takes larger steps along actin filaments than early interpretations of its structure seem to allow. We now know that myosin VI does indeed operate by an unusual approximately 180 degrees lever arm swing and achieves its large step size using special structural features in its tail domain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / chemistry*
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Multimerization


  • myosin VI
  • Myosin Heavy Chains