Mechanics and Activation of Unconventional Myosins

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Many types of cellular motility are based on the myosin family of motor proteins ranging from muscle contraction to exo- and endocytosis, cytokinesis, cell locomotion or signal transduction in hearing. At the center of this wide range of motile processes lies the adaptation of the myosins for each specific mechanical task and the ability to coordinate the timing of motor protein mobilization and targeting. In recent years, great progress has been made in developing single molecule technology to characterize the diverse mechanical properties of the unconventional myosins. Here, we discuss the basic mechanisms and mechanical adaptations of unconventional myosins, and emerging principles regulating motor mobilization and targeting.

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