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Dev Biol. 1992 Jun;151(2):626-9.

Beta-enolase is a marker of human myoblast heterogeneity prior to differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305.


In this report, we define a muscle-specific marker, beta-enolase, that distinguishes proliferating myoblasts from different stages of development. Enolase exists as multiple isoforms and in the course of cardiac and skeletal muscle development the beta isoform progressively replaces the alpha isoform. In skeletal muscle, this change in gene expression, unlike most developmental changes in myogenic gene expression, is evident in undifferentiated myoblasts. Whereas myoblasts from fetal tissues express alpha-enolase mRNA, beta-enolase is the predominant mRNA expressed by myoblasts from postnatal tissues. Our results are consistent with the idea that distinct precursor myoblasts contribute to the diversity of fiber types characteristic of muscle tissue at different stages of development.

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