Rab27a co-ordinates actin-dependent transport by controlling organelle-associated motors and track assembly proteins

Noura Alzahofi, Christopher L. Robinson, Tobias Welz, Emma L. Page, Deborah A. Briggs, Amy K. Stainthorp, James Reekes, David A. Elbe, Felix Straube, Edward W. Tate, Philip S. Goff, Elena Sviderskaya, Marta Cantero, Lluis Montoliu, Maryse Bailly, Eugen Kerkhoff, Alistair N. Hume

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Received: 14th April 18

Cell biologists generally consider that microtubules and actin play complementary roles in long- and short-distance transport in animal cells. On the contrary, using melanosomes of melanocytes as a model, we recently discovered that motor myosin-Va, works with dynamic actin tracks, to drive long-range organelle dispersion in microtubule depleted cells. This suggests that in animals, as in yeast and plants, myosin/actin can drive long-range transport. Here we show that SPIRE1/2 and formin-1 (FMN1) proteins generate actin tracks required for myosin-Va-dependent transport in melanocytes. Moreover we show that, in addition to melanophilin/myosin-Va, Rab27a can recruit SPIRE1/2 to melanosomes, thereby integrating motor and track assembly activity at the organelle membrane. Based on this we suggest a model in which organelles and force generators (motors and track assemblers) are linked forming a cell-wide network that allows their collective activity to rapidly disperse the population of organelles long-distance throughout the cytoplasm.

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