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Personal profile

Research interests

The laboratory of Dr. Christopher Yengo studies molecular motor and cytoskeletal proteins and their role in human disease. The lab is currently focused on myosin motors and the actin cytoskeleton. Biochemical, biophysical, and cell biological approaches are utilized to investigate basic molecular mechanisms of motor-based transport, contraction and organization of the actin cytoskeleton. In the long term, the Yengo lab hopes to develop therapeutic strategies for diseases that impact actomyosin-based functions.

The Yengo lab is using myosin V as a model system to understand the conserved structural mechanism of force generation in myosins. A site-specific fluorescence labeling strategy was designed to allow examination of key structural changes in the motor ATPase cycle. A similar system has been designed in human beta cardiac myosin, which drives the contraction in the human ventricular myocardium. Since mutations in human beta-cardiac myosin are a major cause of inherited forms of heart failure, this approach will allow investigation of how mutations disrupt important structural changes in the cardiac myosin ATPase cycle and lead to novel therapeutic strategies.

The Yengo lab is investigating the role of class III myosins in the formation and maintenance of actin based protrusions, such as filopodia, microvilli and stereocilia. There are two isoforms of class III myosins, Myo3A and Myo3B, encoded by separate genes. Class III myosins are unique in that they contain an N-terminal kinase domain, and Myo3A harbors point mutations associated with delayed onset deafness. The Yengo lab is investigating the role of class III myosins in the length maintenance of inner ear hair cell stereocilia as well motor transport within the stereocilia. The impact of the disease mutations on the regulation and function of Myo3A and the ability of Myo3B to compensate for the lack of Myo3A function is under investigation.

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  • 2 Similar Profiles
Myosins Medicine & Life Sciences
Actins Medicine & Life Sciences
Myosin Type III Medicine & Life Sciences
Myosin Type V Medicine & Life Sciences
Stereocilia Medicine & Life Sciences
Actomyosin Medicine & Life Sciences
Smooth Muscle Myosins Medicine & Life Sciences
Adenosine Diphosphate Medicine & Life Sciences

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Projects 2001 2020

Cardiac Myosins
Ventricular Myosins
X-Ray Diffraction

Energy Transduction in Myosin

Yengo, C.

National Institutes of Health


Project: Research project

Muscle Contraction
Familial Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Myosin Type III
Myosin Type III
Light Signal Transduction

Research Output 1998 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Closing the therapeutic loop

Campbell, K. S., Yengo, C., Lee, L. C., Kotter, J., Sorrell, V. L., Guglin, M. & Wenk, J. F., Mar 15 2019, In : Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. 663, p. 129-131 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Converter domain mutations in myosin alter structural kinetics and motor function

Gunther, L. K., Rohde, J. A., Tang, W., Walton, S. D., Unrath, W. C., Trivedi, D. V., Muretta, J. M., Thomas, D. D. & Yengo, C., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 294, 5, p. 1554-1567 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adenosine Triphosphatases
2 Citations (Scopus)

Structure of the MORN4/Myo3a Tail Complex Reveals MORN Repeats as Protein Binding Modules

Li, J., Liu, H., Raval, M. H., Wan, J., Yengo, C., Liu, W. & Zhang, M., Sep 3 2019, In : Structure. 27, 9, p. 1366-1374.e3

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Protein Binding
Tandem Repeat Sequences

Characterization of a novel MYO3A missense mutation associated with a dominant form of late onset hearing loss

Dantas, V. G. L., Raval, M. H., Ballesteros, A., Cui, R., Gunther, L. K., Yamamoto, G. L., Alves, L. U., Bueno, A. S., Lezirovitz, K., Pirana, S., Mendes, B. C. A., Yengo, C., Kachar, B. & Mingroni-Netto, R. C., Dec 1 2018, In : Scientific reports. 8, 1, 8706.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Missense Mutation
Hearing Loss

Getting site-specific with actomyosin inhibitors

Gunther, L. K. & Yengo, C., Jan 1 2018, In : Journal of Biological Chemistry. 293, 31, p. 12299-12300 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

High-Throughput Screening Assays