Myo2 protein (Myo2p), an unconventional myosin in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been implicated in polarized growth and secretion by studies of the temperature-sensitive myo2-66 mutant. Overexpression of Smy1p, which by sequence is a kinesin-related protein, can partially compensate for defects in the myo2 mutant (Lillie, S. H. and S. S. Brown, 1992. Nature (Lond.). 356:358-361). We have now immunolocalized Smy1p and Myo2p. Both are concentrated in regions of active growth, as caps at incipient bud sites and on small buds, at the mother-bud neck just before cell separation, and in mating cells as caps on shmoo tips and at the fusion bridge of zygotes. Double labeling of cells with either Myo2p or Smy1p antibody plus phalloidin was used to compare the localization of Smy1p and Myo2p to actin, and by extrapolation, to each other. These studies confirmed that Myo2p and Smy1p colocalize, and are concentrated in the same general regions of the cell as actin spots. However, neither colocalizes with actin. We noted a correlation in the behavior of Myo2p, Smy1p, and actin, but not microtubules, under a number of circumstances. In cdc4 and cdc11 mutants, which produce multiple buds, Myo2p and Smy1p caps were found only in the subset of buds that had accumulations of actin. Mutations in actin or secretory genes perturb actin, Smy1p and Myo2p localization. The rearrangements of Myo2p and Smy1p correlate temporally with those of actin spots during the cell cycle, and upon temperature and osmotic shift. In contrast, microtubules are not grossly affected by these perturbations. Although wild-type Myo2p localization does not require Smy1p, Myo2p staining is brighter when SMY1 is overexpressed. The myo2 mutant, when shifted to restrictive temperature, shows a permanent loss in Myo2p localization and actin polarization, both of which can be restored by SMY1 overexpression. However, the lethality of MYO2 deletion is not overcome by SMY1 overexpression. We noted that the myo2 mutant can recover from osmotic shift (unlike actin mutants; Novick, P., and D. Botstein. 1985. Cell. 40:405-416). We have also determined that the myo2-66 allele encodes a Lys instead of a Glu at position 511, which lies at an actin-binding face in the motor domain.

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