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Dev Cell. 2001 Nov;1(5):691-703.

Drosophila rolling pebbles: a multidomain protein required for myoblast fusion that recruits D-Titin in response to the myoblast attractant Dumbfounded.

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Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, 117609, Singapore.


The fusion of myoblasts leading to the formation of myotubes is an integral part of skeletal myogenesis in many organisms. In Drosophila, specialized founder myoblasts initiate fusion through expression of the receptor-like attractant Dumbfounded (Duf), which brings them into close contact with other myoblasts. Here, we identify Rols7, a gene expressed in founders, as an essential component for fusion during myotube formation. During fusion, Rols7 localizes in a Duf-dependent manner at membrane sites that contact other myoblasts. These sites are also enriched with D-Titin, which functions to maintain myotube structure and morphology. When Rols7 is absent or its localization is perturbed, the enrichment of D-Titin fails to occur. Rols7 integrates the initial event of myoblast attraction with the downstream event of myotube structural organization by linking Duf to D-Titin.

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