Roles for myosin Va in RNA transport and turnover

Biochem Soc Trans. 2012 Dec 1;40(6):1416-20. doi: 10.1042/BST20120172.


Mammals express three class V myosins. Myosin Va is widely expressed, but enriched in the brain, testes and melanocytes, myosin Vb is expressed ubiquitously, and myosin Vc is believed to be epithelium-specific. Myosin Va is the best characterized of the three and plays a key role in the transport of cargo to the plasma membrane. Its cargo includes cell-surface receptors, pigment and organelles such as the endoplasmic reticulum. It is also emerging that RNA and RNA-BPs (RNA-binding proteins) make up another class of myosin Va cargo. It has long been established that the yeast class V myosin, Myo4p, transports mRNAs along actin cables into the growing bud, and now several groups have reported a similar role for class V myosins in higher eukaryotes. Myosin Va has also been implicated in the assembly and maintenance of P-bodies (processing bodies), cytoplasmic foci that are involved in mRNA storage and degradation. The present review examines the evidence that myosin Va plays a role in the transport and turnover of mRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / physiology*
  • Myosin Type V / physiology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • RNA Transport*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • MYO5A protein, human
  • Myosin Type V
  • Myosin Heavy Chains