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Histol Histopathol. 2004 Oct;19(4):1289-300.

Pax genes in myogenesis: alternate transcripts add complexity.

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  • 1School of Biomedical and Sports Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia, Australia.


Pax3 and Pax7 are powerful myogenic inducers and hence play a critical role in skeletal muscle development and regeneration. In this paper we discuss the role of Pax3 and Pax7 in dorsal patterning of the somite with subsequent determination of myogenic precursor cells for muscle formation within the developing embryo and in adult muscle. Recent evidence of the ability of stem cells to contribute to muscle regeneration in adult tissues, and the role of Pax7 in conversion of multipotent stem cells to the myogenic lineage are also discussed. Several tissue specific Pax7 transcripts that encode isoforms with different DNA binding characteristics and potentially distinct transactivation specificities are identified. The expression of a range of transcripts in the determination of different tissue lineages and distinct cell populations both in the embryo and in the adult indicates an extraordinary level of complexity. A detailed understanding of these molecules and their functions during embryogenesis and adult muscle formation is imperative for future stem cell therapies.

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