Biology

Myosin VI and branched actin filaments mediate membrane constriction and fission of melanosomal tubule carriers

Vesicular and tubular transport intermediates regulate organellar cargo dynamics. Transport carrier release involves local and profound membrane remodeling before fission. Pinching the neck of a budding tubule or vesicle requires mechanical forces, likely exerted by the action of molecular motors on the cytoskeleton. Here, we show that myosin VI, together with branched actin filaments, constricts the membrane of tubular carriers that are then released from melanosomes, the pigment containing lysosome-related organelles of melanocytes. By combining superresolution fluorescence microscopy, correlative light and electron microscopy, and biochemical analyses, we find that myosin VI motor activity mediates severing by constricting the neck of the tubule at specific melanosomal subdomains. Pinching of the tubules involves the cooperation of the myosin adaptor optineurin and the activity of actin nucleation machineries, including the WASH and Arp2/3 complexes. The fission and release of these tubules allows for the export of components from melanosomes, such as the SNARE VAMP7, and promotes melanosome maturation and transfer to keratinocytes. Our data reveal a new myosin VI– and actin-dependent membrane fission mechanism required for organelle function.

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