ENA/VASP proteins regulate exocytosis by mediating myosin VI-dependent recruitment of secretory granules to the cortical actin network.
Myosin VI (MYO6) is the only myosin known to move toward the minus end of actin filaments. It has roles in numerous cellular processes, including maintenance of stereocilia structure, endocytosis, and autophagosome maturation. However, the functional necessity of minus-end-directed movement along actin is unclear as the underlying architecture of the local actin network is often unknown. To address this question, we engineered a mutant of MYO6, MYO6+, which undergoes plus-end-directed movement while retaining physiological cargo interactions in the tail. Expression of this mutant motor in HeLa cells led to a dramatic reorganization of cortical actin filaments and the formation of actin-rich filopodia. MYO6 is present on peripheral adaptor protein, phosphotyrosine interacting with PH domain and leucine zipper 1 (APPL1) signaling endosomes and MYO6+ expression causes a dramatic relocalization and clustering of this endocytic compartment in the cell cortex. MYO6+ and its adaptor GAIP interacting protein, C terminus (GIPC) accumulate at the tips of these filopodia, while APPL1 endosomes accumulate at the base. A combination of MYO6+ mutagenesis and siRNA-mediated depletion of MYO6 binding partners demonstrates that motor activity and binding to endosomal membranes mediated by GIPC and PI(4,5)P2 are crucial for filopodia formation. A similar reorganization of actin is induced by a constitutive dimer of MYO6+, indicating that multimerization of MYO6 on endosomes through binding to GIPC is required for this cellular activity and regulation of actin network structure. This unique engineered MYO6+ offers insights into both filopodia formation and MYO6 motor function at endosomes and at the plasma membrane.