Myr 3, a member of the myosin-I family from rat, is shown in this study to be localized at adherens-type intercellular junctions in epithelial and nonepithelial tissues. Formation of intercellular junctions and the accompanying recruitment of myr 3 to these junctions involves signaling by the Rho subfamily of small GTP-binding proteins. This conclusion is based on studies with HtTA-1 HeLa cells that were induced by overexpression of constitutively active Cdc42Hs to form typical adherens-type intercellular junctions enriched in cadherins (N-cadherin), beta-catenin, filamentous actin and myr 3. Recruitement of myr 3 to Cdc42-induced adherens junctions in HeLa cells was dependent on a short region of the tail domain and a functional myosin motor domain, but was independent of its myosin-I tail homology and SH3 regions. Overexpression of constitutively active Rac1 induced a distinct type of adherens junction in HeLa cells that was characterized by elaborate intercellular interdigitations enriched in N-cadherin, beta-catenin and F-actin. Myr 3 was often present, but not specifically enriched in the intercellular junctions induced by constitutively active Rac1.

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