Signaling Mechanisms in Mammalian Myoblast Fusion

Sci. Signal.  23 Apr 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 272, pp. re2
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003832

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Myoblast fusion is a critical process that contributes to the growth of muscle during development and to the regeneration of myofibers upon injury. Myoblasts fuse with each other as well as with multinucleated myotubes to enlarge the myofiber. Initial studies demonstrated that myoblast fusion requires extracellular calcium and changes in cell membrane topography and cytoskeletal organization. More recent studies have identified several cell-surface and intracellular proteins that mediate myoblast fusion. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that myoblast fusion is also regulated by the activation of specific cell-signaling pathways that lead to the expression of genes whose products are essential for the fusion process and for modulating the activity of molecules that are involved in cytoskeletal rearrangement. Here, we review the roles of the major signaling pathways in mammalian myoblast fusion.

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