The Journal of biological chemistry

Mammalian Nonmuscle Myosin II Binds to Anionic Phospholipids with Concomitant Dissociation of the Regulatory Light Chain.

PMID 27697842


Mammalian cells express three Class II nonmuscle myosins (NM): NM2A, NM2B, and NM2C. The three NM2s have well established essential roles in cell motility, adhesion, and cytokinesis and less well defined roles in vesicle transport and other processes that would require association of NM2s with cell membranes. Previous evidence for the mechanism of NM2-membrane association includes direct interaction of NM2s with membrane lipids and indirect interaction by association of NM2s with membrane-bound F-actin or peripheral membrane proteins. Direct binding of NM2s to phosphatidylserine-liposomes, but not to phosphatidylcholine-liposomes, has been reported, but the molecular basis of the interaction between NM2s and acidic phospholipids has not been previously investigated. We now show that filamentous, full-length NM2A, NM2B, and NM2C and monomeric, non-filamentous heavy meromyosin bind to liposomes containing one or more acidic phospholipids (phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-diphosphate, and phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate) but do not bind to 100% phosphatidylcholine-liposomes. Binding of NM2s to acidic liposomes occurs predominantly through interaction of the liposomes with the regulatory light chain (RLC) binding site in the myosin heavy chain with concomitant dissociation of the RLC. Phosphorylation of myosin-bound RLC by myosin light chain kinase substantially inhibits binding to liposomes of both filamentous NM2 and non-filamentous heavy meromyosin; the addition of excess unbound RLC, but not excess unbound essential light chain, competes with liposome binding. Consistent with the in vitro data, we show that endogenous and expressed NM2A associates with the plasma membrane of HeLa cells and fibrosarcoma cells independently of F-actin.