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In cancer cells metabolic changes and mitochondrial morphology are coupled. It is known that the cytoskeleton and molecular motors are directly involved in regulating mitochondrial morphology. Here we show that myosin-Va, an actin-based molecular motor, is required for the malignant properties of melanoma cells and localizes to mitochondria in these cells. Knockdown of myosin-Va increases cellular respiration rates and ROS production and decreases glucose uptake and lactate secretion. In addition, knockdown of myosin-Va results in reduced mitochondrial fission and correspondingly elongated mitochondria. We show that myosin-Va interacts with the mitochondrial outer membrane protein Spire1C, an actin-regulatory protein implicated in mitochondrial fission, and that Spire1C recruits myosin-Va to mitochondria. Finally, we show that during mitochondrial fission myosin-Va localization to mitochondria increases, and that myosin-Va localizes to mitochondrial fission sites immediately adjacent to Drp1 punctae. We conclude that myosin-Va facilitates mitochondrial fission. These data implicate myosin-Va as a target for the Warburg effect in melanoma cells.

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