Opposing Kinesin and Myosin-I Motors Drive Membrane Deformation and Tubulation along Engineered Cytoskeletal Networks

Curr Biol. 2018 Jan 22;28(2):236-248.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.12.007. Epub 2018 Jan 11.


Microtubule and actin filament molecular motors such as kinesin-1 and myosin-Ic (Myo1c) transport and remodel membrane-bound vesicles; however, it is unclear how they coordinate to accomplish these tasks. We introduced kinesin-1- and Myo1c-bound giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) into a micropatterned in vitro cytoskeletal matrix modeled after the subcellular architecture where vesicular sorting and membrane remodeling are observed. This array was composed of sparse microtubules intersecting regions dense with actin filaments, and revealed that Myo1c-dependent tethering of GUVs enabled kinesin-1-driven membrane deformation and tubulation. Membrane remodeling at actin/microtubule intersections was modulated by lipid composition and the addition of the Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs-domain (BAR-domain) proteins endophilin or FCH-domain-only (FCHo). Myo1c not only tethered microtubule-transported cargo, but also transported, deformed, and tubulated GUVs along actin filaments in a lipid-composition- and BAR-protein-responsive manner. These results suggest a mechanism for actin-based involvement in vesicular transport and remodeling of intracellular membranes, and implicate lipid composition as a key factor in determining whether vesicles will undergo transport, deformation, or tubulation driven by opposing actin and microtubule motors and BAR-domain proteins.

Keywords: BAR protein; FCHo; GUV; actin filament; endophilin; intracellular transport; kinesin; microtubule; myosin; tubulation; vesicle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology*
  • Kinesin / physiology*
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Myosin Type I / physiology*


  • Myosin Type I
  • Kinesin