We examine the effect of cargo-motor linkage stiffness on the mechanobiological properties of the molecular motor myosin VI. We use the programmability of DNA nanostructures to modulate cargo-motor linkage stiffness and combine it with high-precision optical trapping measurements to measure the effect of linkage stiffness on the motile properties of myosin VI. Our results reveal that a stiff cargo-motor linkage leads to shorter step sizes and load-induced anchoring of myosin VI, while a flexible linkage results in longer steps with frequent detachments from the actin filament under load. Our findings suggest a novel regulatory mechanism for tuning the dual cellular roles of the anchor and transporter ascribed to myosin VI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1R35GM126940-01 to S.S.) and the National Science Foundation (CNS 1544721 to M.S.).