Biophysical Reviews

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 1481–1482 | Cite as

Discovery of myosin I and Pollard-san

  • Fumio Oosawa


In this short review, I describe a brief history of the discovery of myosin I isolated from Acanthamoeba in 1973 by Tom Pollard and Ed Korn. Today, myosins form a large “family tree” that includes more than 30 types of myosins. I discuss the importance of the relationship among actin, myosin, and other actin-binding proteins, many of which were pioneered by Pollard-san (“-san” is a Japanese honorific suffix showing respect, politeness and friendship). At the first conference devoted to actin, Pollard-san, Korn-san, and I discussed the importance of the nucleotide bound at the two ends of the actin filament. I conclude that life is a dynamic accumulation of molecule-molecule bindings, and although we do not yet know how they coordinate with each other to operate a living cell, many enthusiastic and excellent researchers like Pollard-san will unveil mechanisms that will show us what life really looks like.


Actin Myosin Acanthamoeba 



I thank the editors Cris dos Remedios and Enrique De La Cruz, who helped editing this short review. I am also grateful to Shin’ichi Ishiwata and Keiichi Namba for careful reading the manuscript. This short review is a translated transcription of my talk with Ikuko Fujiwara about Pollard-san.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Fumio Oosawa declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.


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Copyright information

© International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics (IUPAB) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fumio Oosawa
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Graduate School of ScienceNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of ScienceNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biophysical Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering ScienceOsaka UniversityToyonakaJapan
  4. 4.NagoyaJapan

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