Characterization of sea urchin unconventional myosins and analysis of their patterns of expression during early embryogenesis

V. Sirotkin, S. Seipel, M. Krendel, E. M. Bonder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Early sea urchin development requires a dynamic reorganization of both the actin cytoskeleton and cytoskeletal interactions with cellular membranes. These events may involve the activities of multiple members of the superfamily of myosin motor proteins. Using RT-PCR with degenerate myosin primers, we identified 11 myosin mRNAs expressed in unfertilized eggs and coelomocytes of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Seven of these sea urchin myosins belonged to myosin classes Iγ, II, V, Vl, VII, IX, and amoeboid-type I, and the remaining four may be from novel classes. Sea urchin myosins-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I were either completely or partially cloned and their molecular structures characterized. Sea urchin myosins-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I shared a high degree of sequence identity with their respective family members from vertebrates and they retained their class-specific structure and domain organization. Analysis of expression of myosin-V, -VI, -VII, and amoeboid-type-I mRNAs during development revealed that each myosin mRNA displayed a distinct temporal pattern of expression, suggesting that myosins might be involved in specific events of early embryogenesis. Interestingly, the onset of gastrulation appeared to be a pivotal point in modulation of myosin mRNA expression. The presence of multiple myosin mRNAs in eggs and embryos provides insight into the potential involvement of multiple specific motor proteins in the actin-dependent events of embryo development. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-126
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Actin
  • Developmental expression
  • Myosin
  • Sea urchin
  • Unconventional myosins


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of sea urchin unconventional myosins and analysis of their patterns of expression during early embryogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this