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Genes Dev. 2005 Jun 15;19(12):1426-31.

Pax3/Pax7 mark a novel population of primitive myogenic cells during development.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology, Pasteur Institute, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique Unité de Recherche Associeé 2578, 75724 Paris, Cedex 15, France.


Skeletal muscle serves as a paradigm for the acquisition of cell fate, yet the relationship between primitive cell populations and emerging myoblasts has remained elusive. We identify a novel population of resident Pax3+/Pax7+, muscle marker-negative cells throughout development. Using mouse mutants that uncouple myogenic progression, we show that these Pax+ cells give rise to muscle progenitors. In the absence of skeletal muscle, they apoptose after down-regulation of Pax7. Furthermore, they mark the emergence of satellite cells during fetal development, and do not require Pax3 function. These findings identify critical cell populations during lineage restriction, and provide a framework for defining myogenic cell states for therapeutic studies.

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