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A role for myosin VI in retinal pigment epithelium phagocytosis

Hewage, Navindi, Altman, David
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2018 v.504 no.4 pp. 759-764
actin, cell lines, epithelium, eyes, fluorescence, humans, microparticles, microtubules, myosin, phagocytosis, phagosomes, photoreceptors, wastes
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a monolayer of pigmented cells adjacent to the choroid coat, the vascular layer of the eye. Among other functions, these cells are responsible for the phagocytosis of rod and cone cell waste shed from the photoreceptor outer segments. We describe here studies to understand the involvement of the motor protein myosin VI in the trafficking of internalized microspheres by a human retinal pigment epithelium primary cell line (ARPE-19). We perturbed the myosin VI-actin interaction by overexpressing a dominant negative myosin VI construct in these cells. We used single particle tracking to characterize the trajectories of internalized fluorescent microspheres. Analysis of the speed of the microspheres' motions revealed that the magnitude of the average speed over short time scales is reduced in the presence of the dominant negative motor. Analysis of the mean-squared displacement of these trajectories demonstrated that trafficking of phagosomes involves two modes of motion, a rapid, more randomly directed motion that is myosin VI dependent and a slower, more directed motion that is independent of the motor. From these data, we posit that this trafficking process involves an interplay between myosin VI motors, which are involved in motion through the actin periphery of the cell, and microtubule motors.