Myr 8, a novel unconventional myosin expressed during brain development associates with the protein phosphatase catalytic subunits 1α and 1γ1

Krishna G. Patel, Changdan Liu, Patricia L. Cameron, Richard S. Cameron

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Directed neuronal, astroglial, and oligodendroglial cell migrations comprise a prominent feature of mammalian brain development. Because molecular motor proteins have been implicated in a wide spectrum of processes associated with cell motility, we initiated studies to define the pool of myosins in migrating cerebellar granule neurons and type-1 neocortical astrocytes. Our analyses identified two isoforms of a novel unconventional myosin, which we have cloned, sequenced, and designated myr 8a and 8b (eighth unconventional myosin from rat). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that myr 8 myosins comprise a new class of myosins, which we have designated class XVI. The head domain contains a large N-terminal extension composed of multiple ankyrin repeats, which are implicated in mediating an association with the protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) catalytic subunits 1α and 1γ. The motor domain is followed by a single putative light-chain binding domain. The tail domain of myr 8a is comparatively short with a net positive charge, whereas the tail domain of myr 8b is extended, bears an overall neutral charge, and reveals several stretches of polyproline residues. Neither the myr 8a nor the myr 8b sequence reveals α-helical coiled-coil motifs, suggesting that these myosins exist as monomers. Both immunoblot and Northern blot analyses indicate that myr 8b is the predominant isoform expressed in brain, principally at developmental time periods. The structural features and restricted expression patterns suggest that members of this novel class of unconventional myosins comprise a mechanism to target selectively the protein phosphatase 1 catalytic subunits 1α and/or 1γ in developing brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7954-7968
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2001



  • Astrocytes
  • Brain development
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Nervous system
  • Neuronal migration
  • Unconventional myosins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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