Development

Myoblast Fusion

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Science  04 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5480, pp. 699
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5480.699b

The formation of muscle involves the fusion of muscle fiber precursor cells, myoblasts, to form long syncytial tubes known as myotubes. Ruiz-Gómez et al. show that in Drosophila the formation of myotubes is seeded by founder myoblasts that express the protein Dumbfounded (Duf). This causes the clustering of fusion-competent myoblasts, which express a protein termed Sticks-and-stones (Sns) as described by Bour et al. Because only founder cells express Duf, and only fusion competent myoblasts express Sns, these expression patterns help to explain the inherent asymmetry observed in myoblast fusion. It remains to be seen whether Duf and Sns interact directly with one another via their Ig domains, but it is probable that they underlie recognition and interaction between the two classes of myoblasts. — SMH

Cell102, 189 (2000); Genes Dev. 14, 1498 (2000).

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