Molecular biology of the cell

Myosin VI and its binding partner optineurin are involved in secretory vesicle fusion at the plasma membrane.

PMID 21148290


During constitutive secretion, proteins synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are transported to the Golgi complex for processing and then to the plasma membrane for incorporation or extracellular release. This study uses a unique live-cell constitutive secretion assay to establish roles for the molecular motor myosin VI and its binding partner optineurin in discrete stages of secretion. Small interfering RNA-based knockdown of myosin VI causes an ER-to-Golgi transport delay, suggesting an unexpected function for myosin VI in the early secretory pathway. Depletion of myosin VI or optineurin does not affect the number of vesicles leaving the trans-Golgi network (TGN), indicating that these proteins do not function in TGN vesicle formation. However, myosin VI and optineurin colocalize with secretory vesicles at the plasma membrane. Furthermore, live-cell total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy demonstrates that myosin VI or optineurin depletion reduces the total number of vesicle fusion events at the plasma membrane and increases both the proportion of incomplete fusion events and the number of docked vesicles in this region. These results suggest a novel role for myosin VI and optineurin in regulation of fusion pores formed between secretory vesicles and the plasma membrane during the final stages of secretion.